For any team competing in the PBA, having a 6-foot-10 dominant slotman like June Mar Fajardo is a luxury. So it’s no surprise if new San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria will use him as the cornerstone of the team’s offense.
“We want it deliberate. We want to take advantage of June Mar, kailangan i-capitalize namin yun. Dahil marami kaming shooters,” added Austria.
Fajardo has developed an array of post moves, a product of spending a lot of time playing alongside Marcus Douthit and NBA veteran Andray Blatche while playing for Gilas Pilipinas. In his first game this season, the reigning Most Valuable Player finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Of course, with Fajardo becoming the first option, teams would be tempted to double up on the Cebuano slotman who loves to take high percentage shots. This would allow the other players like Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Ronald Pascual, Sol Mercado, and Ronald Tubid to get good looks at the basket.
According to Austria, the drastic change in the system was brought about by years of frustration from San Miguel’s camp as well as its fans.
“We’ve been criticized the previous years because they’re expecting a lot from our team,” Austria said. “But hindi nangyayari yung expectations nila. I hope this time, it’s going to be a good start for us.”
“Ibang-iba ito. Inalis naming yung dating sistema dahil hindi nag-wo-work sa amin. I’m happy to work with this team for two months.”