Home Sports With winner mentality, San MIguel finally disposes of Terrafirma

With winner mentality, San MIguel finally disposes of Terrafirma


June Mar Fajardo San Miguel Beermen PBA

San Miguel Beermen center June Mar Fajardo during a game against the Terrafirma Dyip in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.–PBA IMAGES

Marcio Lassiter was confident that San Miguel Beer would get the job over Terrafirma that the prospect of being a top seed eliminated by the No. 8 seed in the quarterfinals was far from his mind.

Never mind if he was once a part of a stunning upset of the same proportion.

“Obviously, [having] a winner’s mentality, you don’t want to think that,” Lassiter, who in his rookie season in 2012 was part of Powerade’s shock ouster of B-Meg in the PBA Philippine Cup, told the Inquirer after the Beermen dashed the Terrafirma Dyip’s own bid to replicate that feat.

READ: PBA: June Mar Fajardo powers San Miguel past Terrafirma and into semis

The Beermen, anchored by a dominant performance from June Mar Fajardo, progressed into this season’s Philippine Cup semifinals with a 110-91 over the Dyip at Ninoy Aquino Stadium, effectively ending a dream run for the team that pushed the traditional heavyweights into a knockout affair.

Lessons learned

They face either the TNT Tropang Giga or the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a best-of-seven series, carrying lessons from a quarters matchup that may serve as a guide for the fancied Beermen side.

“As a team, we knew that we let that [first game] slip, and we didn’t play our game,” Lassiter said. “We just know that if we play our San Miguel Beermen way … you have to play the full 48 minutes. It’s a lot easier said than done, you just have to go out and actually do it.

READ: PBA: No fear in Terrafirma ahead of showdown vs San Miguel

“And if they came out with the same way they did in Game 1, I would just tip my hat to them and they were the better team today. First half was pretty close, but overall we had a second chance to come out today and get that one win. But we had to play our brand today and that’s what we did.”

Coach Jorge Gallent, whose team got a pep talk from San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua on the eve of the match, said that adjustments were aplenty, given how the Dyip stayed alive in the first game of the quarters by virtue of a 106-95 win at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“They have shooters that can shoot, that is why June Mar has to extend his defense,” Gallent said. “Once June Mar does that, we have a hard time getting the boards.

“But we did a great job in the second half, with our guards playing well, especially defending their guards. And June Mar did a good job extending the defense.”

Fajardo also delivered with 25 points, scoring 21 in the second half, with 22 rebounds for the Beermen.

Terrafirma, meanwhile, wraps up a conference that led to a first quarters berth since the 2016 Governors’ Cup and players like Juami Tiongson, Stephen Holt, Javi Gomez de Liaño and Isaac Go overachieving.

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“Hopefully we get a chance to run it back and add more pieces,” said Tiongson.

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