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Gallent rules out June Mar Fajardo’s return in semis

ANTIPOLO – San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent ruled out the possibility of June Mar Fajardo coming back sooner after showing up in Game 2 of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals affair opposite Ginebra, Sunday night.

The league’s only six-time MVP joined the Beermen, albeit in street clothes, at the Ynares Center here but the seasoned mentor said that it was nothing more than a visit to the team’s PTs as he sought help on his injured knee.

Fajardo was actually chanced upon by reporters at the dugout moments after the match but the soft-spoken star politely declined to grant interviews.

“Wala ‘yan. Nagpalagay lang ng ano sa PT kasi I think he has a hard time putting the mobilizer. He just came here to put it,” Gallent said.

Nonetheless, the long-time San Miguel coaching staff member felt glad to see the 6-foot-10 slotman ‘walking well early.’

“I’m very happy he’s kinda walking well early,” he shared.

June Mar, he’s gonna start ata ‘yung therapy. Three to four weeks pa.”

It sure is good news for San Miguel but it goes without saying that the Beermen would’ve loved to be playing with their main man especially after absorbing a rude 121-103 beating to, worse, fall 0-2 in the race-to-3 series.

“This is not anymore the Xs and Os,” rued Gallent. “We have to play with effort. We have to play with discipline. We have to play with patience.”

What Gallent lamented about in particular was the way they moved the ball. A team that was averaging 27.3 assists prior, SMB only had 20 in Game 2.

#ReadMore  Henderson-Niles says Fajardo 'way better' than Slaughter

“This is what I’ve told the team: when we were winning, we were No. 1 in assists. Now, wala. We’re down to No. 8. So if you don’t share the ball, if you don’t play as a unit, we will never win against Ginebra,” he said.

Gallent said that it’s now on him to make his charges focused on Game 3 on Wednesday as they want to extend their season at least for one more day.

“I have to motivate them Monday and Tuesday, so ‘yung mindset nila is not ‘yung vacation mode,” he said. “We have to think of Game 3. We can’t think of if we win Game 3 what’s going to happen in Game 4,” he said.

“We got to win Game 3 and put a mindset that we’re not in vacation mode. As long as there’s a chance ,it’s my job to push them to get three straight wins to get one win, which is Game 3.”

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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