PBA Philippine Cup

No need to worry: Fajardo dominates as San Miguel survives Terrafirma scare to reach semis

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

No need to worry: Fajardo dominates as San Miguel survives Terrafirma scare to reach semis

KRAKEN. June Mar Fajardo in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo posts his second 20-20 performance in the PBA Philippine Cup, allowing San Miguel to dispose of Terrafirma on the way to the semifinals

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo told head coach Jorge Gallent not to worry even as the Beermen teetered on the brink of elimination.

True enough, the seven-time PBA MVP turned in one of his best games in the Philippine Cup and propelled San Miguel to the semifinals after a 110-91 win over TNT at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Wednesday, May 15. 

Fajardo finished with 25 points and 22 rebounds as the Beermen – dragged to a sudden death after a stunning 106-95 loss in Game 1 – rediscovered their form to advance to the final four for the fifth straight conference.

“June Mar said I should not be nervous. He is arrogant,” said Gallent in jest.

San Miguel rode on a big third quarter powered by Fajardo to pull away from a gritty Dyip side that sought to become just the fifth No. 8 team in league history to eliminate the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Fajardo scattered 10 points in the period as the Beermen outscored their foes, 34-22, to turn a slim 45-44 halftime edge to a 79-66 cushion going into the final salvo.

That lead grew to its biggest at 110-89, with Fajardo scoring 11 more points in the fourth quarter to complete his second 20-20 outing of the conference.

Without that dominant performance from Fajardo, it would have been a disastrous end to a stellar campaign for San Miguel.

The Beermen won their first 10 games but dropped the next two matches, bowing to Meralco as it fell short of sweeping the eliminations, then absorbing an upset loss at the hands of Terrafirma to open the playoffs.

“We just trusted the team. We know the capabilities of the team,” said Fajardo.

Terrence Romeo backstopped Fajardo with 19 points, CJ Perez put up 18 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, while Don Trollano chimed in 18 points and 8 rebounds.

Jericho Cruz added 11 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals in the win.

“When we played against Meralco and first time we played against Terrafirma, we were kind of sluggish. We watched a lot of film. We just saw our sluggishness in those last two games,” said Gallent.

Javi Gomez de Liaño delivered 23 points and 6 rebounds for the Dyip, who missed out on a breakthrough semifinal appearance in franchise history, no thanks to their third-quarter collapse.

Terrafirma still led 46-45 at the start of the third period before San Miguel went on a tide-turning 18-2 run.

Rookie guard Stephen Holt posted 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in the loss, while Juami Tiongson tallied 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Still, the Dyip exceeded expectations this conference as they reached the quarterfinals for only the second time in franchise history and won their first playoff game.

The Scores

San Miguel 110 – Fajardo 25, Romeo 19, Perez 18, Trollano 18, Cruz 11, Lassiter 8, Ross 5, Tautuaa 4, Brondial 2, Enciso 0.

Terrafirma 91 – Gomez de Liano 23, Holt 18, Tiongson 18, Cahilig 12, Go 7, Camson 7, Carino 4, Ramos 2, Alolino 0, Mina 0, Sangalang 0.

Quarters: 20-25, 45-44, 79-66, 110-91.

– Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.