Sans Fajardo, San Miguel Beer eyes playoff berth

By: Inquirer May 04,2017 - 11:05 PM
The San Miguel Beermen will be missing June Mar Fajardo when they try to secure a playoff spot versus the TNT KaTropa in tonight’s main game of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PBA IMAGES

The San Miguel Beermen will be missing June Mar Fajardo when they try to secure a playoff spot versus the TNT KaTropa in tonight’s main game of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
PBA IMAGES

SAN Miguel Beer shoots for a playoff slot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup in the only game that it will play without the player that has made the Beermen threaten to establish a modern-day dynasty.

With reigning three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo on loan to national cause, the Beermen shoot for a sixth straight win Friday night against a more depleted enemy in TNT KaTropa, which is lending three of its stars to Gilas Pilipinas that plays in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship next week.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the Beermen will remain to still be a loaded bunch with Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross leading the way.

And then there’s Charles Rhodes, the import whom coach Leo Austria had said was willing to take a back seat and is now the best talent inside the shaded lane for San Miguel with Fajardo to watch from the sidelines.

Rhodes is showing vast improvement each game and has shown to be a perfect fit to a team that is teeming with talent on all fronts.

But Austria is a little worried playing without the 6-foot-10 Fajardo.

“That’s big because practically all of our plays revolve around June Mar,” Austria said. “But we have people who can step up.”

While Rhodes and the likes of Yancy de Ocampo, Jay-R Reyes and rookie Arnold Van Opsta are expected to plug the hole Fajardo’s absence will create, TNT coach Nash Racela will try to find a lot of people to fill in with super rookie RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Jason Castro to miss the game.

Castro, Rosario and Pogoy are averaging just over a combined 40 points, but the biggest loss that Racela will have for this game is that Castro and Pogoy have been two of his biggest go-to-guys in the conference.

Meanwhile, Phoenix Petroleum tries to bounce back from a lethargic outing just two nights ago when the Fuel Masters, who also lent prolific rookie Matthew Wright to Gilas, slug it out with GlobalPort in the 4:15 p.m. game.

The Batang Pier will also play without its top gun – Terrence Romeo – as they resume their drive to catch a playoff bus.

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TAGS: 34th Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Brewery, berth, Commissioner’s, Fajardo, Miguel, playoff, San, sans
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