PBA: Beermen will take a 12-day rest before traveling to Game One, June Mar Fajardo wins the competition for Best Player of the Conference

Jun 4, 2024

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Jorge Gallent, the coach of San Miguel, is moving past their defeat to Meralco as they prepare to face each other in the 48th Season of the Philippine Cup Finals of the PBA.

Having won the elimination round and only lost twice in the conference, the Beermen had a significant edge going into the championship game. But one of those defeats was at the hands of the Bolts, who were their first-ever opponents in the finals.

When the two teams play again, this time for the Philippine Cup championship, Gallent sees a different game than the one that Meralco won 95-92 against San Miguel in the Batangas City Coliseum on May 4.

San Miguel has only lost once since then, and after defeating Rain or Shine in the semifinals, they even advanced to the early round of the playoffs.

Even though San Miguel has essentially controlled the tournament, Gallent voiced worries over the long break—12 days, to be exact—that came before Game One of the other semifinal series, which didn’t conclude until last Friday in San Jose, Batangas, when Meralco defeated Ginebra in Game Seven.

At the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, San Miguel will take on Meralco in Game One of their series, which they won 107-100 over Rain or Shine last May 24.

But, San Miguel has ample incentive to not only get over their current slump as soon as possible but also to refocus on their ultimate objective, as they are this close to winning a championship and will face Meralco in the finals as a strong and deserving opponent.

Meanwhile, this is the KRAKEN. As anticipated, June Mar Fajardo is now leading the PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference standings and will face the Meralco Bolts in a best-of-seven series.

Following its four-game sweep of Rain or Shine in the semifinals, San Miguel advanced to the title series when 6-foot-10 Fajardo unseats previous leader Robert Bolick at No. 1.

With 17.3 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists, Fajardo finished with 43.12 statistical points and seemed ready to win his tenth BPC championship.

Once more, Fajardo stated that helping San Miguel maintain its all-Filipino title is his first objective, with individual achievements coming in second.

At 43.08 statistical points, Bolick is a close second, but because NLEX is no longer in the picture, he may not be able to earn the conference’s top individual honor again.

In addition to leading the league in scoring with 28.3 points, the productive combo guard from San Beda also added 5.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

Stephen Holt, a rookie with Terrafirma, is now third in the race with 40.8 statistical points. He contributed significantly to Dyip’s first-ever postseason trip since 2016 with his all-around stats of 21.08 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.4 steals.

The front-runner for Rookie of the Year is also the first pick from the previous year’s draft.

C-Stan completes the Top Five

Christian Standhardinger of Barangay Ginebra is ranked No. 4 with 39.16 statistical points, followed by Fajardo’s San Miguel teammate CJ Perez at No. 4.

Fajardo has won the BPC nine times out of the five, whereas Perez won his first at the most recent Commissioner’s Cup.

The official contenders for the BPC award, which will be given out prior to Game 4 of the championship series, are the top five players on the list.

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