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Tiebreaker Times


No finger-pointing as June Mar Fajardo supports CJ Perez after crucial miss in Game 5

June Mar Fajardo refuses to pin the blame on anyone after San Miguel fell into a precarious spot in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Finals.

The Beermen saw CJ Perez miss a crucial free throw during their comeback bid in the dying seconds.

However, the seven-time MVP doesn’t want his teammate to bear all the brunt now that the team is staring at a 3-2 deficit in the series.

“Hindi lang naman si Kuya CJ ang nag-struggle. Kami lahat,” Fajardo said moments after their 92-88 loss at the SMART Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

The star guard only managed to split his foul shots with 7.2 seconds left to play, which could have trimmed the gap to a point had he sunk both.

The deficit stayed at a field goal instead and soon after, Chris Newsome would hammer the nail in the coffin through a perfect trip to the line.

Perez’s struggles from the charity stripe were reminiscent of the crucial misses he had in Game 3 last June 9, where they lost narrowly as well, 93-89.

Still, he finished with 17 points in Game 5 but needed 16 shots to score as much. The one-time BPC was the only other double-digit scorer for SMB in the defeat and that alone speaks volumes to their struggles as a whole.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-Game-5-Meralco-def-San-Miguel-June-Mar-Fajardo No finger-pointing as June Mar Fajardo supports CJ Perez after crucial miss in Game 5 Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

He was the lone support for Fajardo, who carried much of the load with 38 points and 18 rebounds for the defending conference champions.

Usual suspects like Marcio Lassiter, for one, only had six points on a 3-of-11 clip from the floor in the loss that saw San Miguel go just 5-of-22 from deep.

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Off-the-bench spark plugs like Vic Manuel and Terrence Romeo, after making a difference back in their 111-101 Game 4 win, combined for just eight points.

Depth has long been the Beermen’s asset but that was hardly present as the team who prides itself in sharing the wealth only had 14 assists – that, after collecting 20 dimes as a unit back in their previous outing.

“Same sa mga previous namin na talo, ‘pag mababa assist namin, natatalo kami,” said Fajardo.

“‘Yun ‘yung inaano ni Coach. Pero maganda naman sana ‘yung ano namin, ‘di lang namin na-shoot ‘yung mga usual shots namin.”

But then again, there’s no finger-pointing whatsoever for the team. They’re moving on, too, towards the all-important Game 6 on Sunday.

“Talo kami as a team, mananalo kami as a team, matatalo kami as a team,” the Cebuano star said.

“For sure, babawi kami sa next game.”

Written By

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

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