San Miguel will be without main man June Mar Fajardo when it embarks on a quest for an unprecedented 6th straight Philippine Cup title.
The 30-year old Fajardo, who will nonetheless bag his 6th consecutive Most Valuable Player award, has been ruled out for the duration of the All-Filipino conference and if worse comes to worst for the entirety of the league’s 45 season.
A defiant Arwind Santos, however, believes that the Beermen are still capable of securing a place in the final four despite the absence of the league’s most dominant player in recent years.
“Kaya pa rin namin makapasok sa semifinals. Yun ang target. Tapos magandang standing sa umpisa. Tingin ko lalaban pa rin kami. Hindi mo pa rin kami puwedeng i-underestimate. Sabi ko nga, with or without June Mar, kaya naming manalo,” explained the 38-year old veteran.
“Siyempre, napakalaking bagay na wala si June Mar. Five-time MVP, isa sa mga leader namin yan, MVP namin, talagang ang tagal na naming naglalaro. Sa tropeyong nakuha namin, lahat nandoon si June Mar. Siyempre, nasanay kami na gumagalaw kami na laging may June Mar. Nakaka-miss pero kagaya ng sinabi ko, hindi namin mapipigilan kung ano mangyayari sa mga players o sa amin. Minsan talaga, susubukan ka ng panahon at tadhana siguro,” he added.
The Beermen will take on the Magnolia Hotshots in a rematch of last season’s Finalists in the lone game after the league formally ushers in the new season on March 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.