PBA Philippine Cup

Jolly June Mar: Fajardo still finds way to enjoy in heated playoffs as San Miguel repeats vs Rain or Shine

Delfin Dioquino

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Jolly June Mar: Fajardo still finds way to enjoy in heated playoffs as San Miguel repeats vs Rain or Shine

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

PBA Images

June Mar Fajardo takes over in the third quarter as San Miguel clobbers Rain or Shine for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semifinals in the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo is all business on the hard court, but his jolly nature still finds a way to come out.

Flashing a playful grin at certain points in the game, Fajardo took over in the third quarter as San Miguel repeated over Rain or Shine, 106-98, in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, May 19.

The seven-time MVP poured 18 of his 22 points in the third period and added 10 rebounds and 4 assists to help the Beermen gain a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

“I did not notice that I was smiling,” said Fajardo in Filipino. “I just want to enjoy. Sometimes, when we’re too serious, we become tentative. I just try my best to enjoy the game. But at the same time, I also need to be serious.”

“Coach always scolds me because he says I’m always smiling. But I also get serious. It just comes out naturally,” Fajardo added.

Held to just 4 points in the first half by a Rain or Shine side that remained within striking distance, 45-53, Fajardo got to work and accounted for half of the 35 points San Miguel scored in the third frame to break the game open.

By the time the third quarter ended, the Beermen pushed their lead to 88-71 and were never threatened the rest of the way.

CJ Perez backstopped Fajardo with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Terrence Romeo fired 16 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Marcio Lassiter also delivered 13 points on a 3-of-6 clip from beyond the arc as he raised his career tally to 1,219 three-pointer to climb to No. 3 in the all-time PBA list, surpassing Barangay Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio (1,218).

Lassiter now only stands behind league legends Jimmy Alapag (1,250) and Allan Caidic (1,242).

“I’m really happy for him that he achieved this. He would not achieve this without the help of his teammates so everybody helped him,” said San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent of Lassiter.

“Really happy for him and I hope he moves forward to the top.”

Anton Asistio finished with 20 points to pace the Elasto Painters, who lost back-to-back games after winning eight of their last 10 matches.

Rookie guard Adrian Nocum posted 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists in the losing effort.

The Scores

San Miguel 106 – Fajardo 22, Perez 19, Romeo 16, Lassiter 13, Trollano 10, Ross 9, Cruz 9, Brondial 4, Tautuaa 4, Enciso , Manuel 0, Teng 0.

Rain or Shine 89 – Asistio 20, Nocum 17, Mamuyac 14, Datu 12, Belga 11, Santillan 5, Caracut 4, Clarito 4, Norwood 2, Paredes 0, Ildefonso 0, Belo 0, Borboran 0.

Quarters: 23-21, 53-45, 88-71, 106-89.

– Rappler.com

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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.