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Brondial thrilled to deliver for SMB, give added rest to JMF

Rodney Brondial simply wants to help San Miguel in whatever way he can in every given opportunity, most especially in backing up June Mar Fajardo.

But he did way more than that on Wednesday night. The 31-year-old bruiser produced 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Beermen pummeled Meralco, 121-97, to take Game One of their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.

“Hindi naman ako conscious doon sa points or ano. Actually, mas conscious pa nga ako sa rebounds ko,” he said in the postgame presser at the SMART Araneta Coliseum as he was bestowed with Player of the Game honors.

“Kung ano ‘yung mas makakatulong sa team, kung ano ‘yung kaya kung ibigay, kung ano ‘yung pwede kong magawang suporta para kay June Mar, ‘yun ‘yung [akin],” added the 6-foot-5 workhorse, who also had two assists and a steal.

Fajardo did spend more time on the bench thanks to the fellow big man. He had 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists in only 29 minutes of play, which is sure of help given that Games Two and Three are on Friday and Sunday this week.

It was easily Brondial’s best outing in a San Miguel jersey scoring-wise and for him, a big part of it is how the team as a whole has jelled over time.

“Sobrang ganda ng samahan namin. Talagang barkada kami ngayon sa team, nage-enjoy kaming magkakasama,” said the eight-year veteran, who signed with SMB as a free agent in the middle of the 2021-22 Governors’ Cup.

“Kung anong combination ‘yung nasa loob, nage-enjoy kami kasama ‘yung isa’t isa. Kaya kahit sinong ano, talagang enjoy lang kami, laro lang, go with the flow. ‘Yun lang, kusang darating ‘yung result,” he furthered.

And it definitely helps a lot to be under the tutelage once again of Leo Austria, who discovered and recruited Brondial to play for Adamson University.

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“Siyempre, malaking bagay din ‘yun. Siyempre, kumportable ako kay Coach Leo, tapos siyempre ‘yung mga teammates ko rin, sila Jericho [Cruz],” he said.

“Tapos maliban doon, ‘yung every game naman namin, maganda talaga ‘yung preparation ng mga coaches. So talagang pag naglalaro kami, halos sinusubo na lang nila sa amin ‘yung game plan. Magpe-perform na lang talaga kami.”

Brondial is undeniably in one of the best stretches of his career and he has greatly helped SMB, much to the joy of his long-time mentor.

The multiple-time champion coach always knew that Brondial would come out with his best effort on every given night, and that is why he couldn’t be any happier to see his student thrive with the Beermen.

“Ginagawa niya lahat dahil he’s really a hard-worker. Ang sabi ko sa kanya before, even noong college, your time will come,” he said.

“And then ito, siguro ‘yung hinahanap nilang time,” the four-time Baby Dalupan Coach of the Year awardee added.

“Sana, magtuloy-tuloy.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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