June Mar's early exit not the lone reason for SMB loss, says Gallent

June Mar’s early exit not the lone reason for SMB loss, says Gallent

SAN Miguel suffered its first loss of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup with the most glaring factor in the defeat being the absence of June Mar Fajardo in the final minutes of the contest.

Fajardo was forced to sit on the bench in the crucial stage of the game after he was called with his sixth and final foul in the 2:59-mark of the contest.

See Ayo reveals strategy was to ‘make June Mar a liability on defense’

It was the first time that Fajardo fouled out of a game since April 13, 2019 during Game One of the Philippine Cup semifinals against Phoenix Super LPG.

But San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent said the absence of Fajardo wasn’t the only reason why the Beermen lost.

“Maybe. Maybe not,” said Gallent, when asked the story would have been different had Fajardo was still in the game late.

“Maybe if June Mar stayed, it’s better for us. But it is what it is. June Mar fouled out. He got his sixth foul with still four minutes. We just have to bounce back from this loss. ‘Yun ang pinakaimportante,” said Gallent.

The new SMB coach pointed out that they failed to play with defensive intensity, allowing Converge to attempt 21 free throws in the game.

“We just have to learn from the mistakes. We committed a lot of fouls in the end because we gave them 21 free throws in the fourth quarter. We just have to learn from that. We have to play good defense,” said Gallent.

Gallent also noted that San Miguel still had a chance to win the game even without Fajardo in the crucial stage.

“Despite all of that, CJ had a chance to bring it down to one in the last 30 seconds left. Breaks of the game, plus we have to learn how to defend better,” said Gallent.

“We just have to learn how not to foul so we won’t give 21 free throws in the fourth. I think they only had three field goals in the fourth but we just have to defend better sa fourth and learn ‘yung schemes namin,” said Gallent.

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