Cone warns that SMB is “playing the best in the league without Fajardo”

Cone warns that SMB is playing the best in the league without Fajardo

Tim Cone acknowledges San Miguel’s impressive play without June Mar Fajardo

Tim Cone said that Barangay Ginebra would have a tough time beating San Miguel in a best-of-five series for the PBA Governors’ Cup semis regardless of whether or not June Mar Fajardo plays for either team.

If the Gin Kings want to defend their Governors’ Cup title, they’ll have to get past a Beermen team that, according to Cone, has been playing its best basketball since Fajardo went down with an MCL injury.

“We are playing well, but San Miguel is probably playing the best in the league right now,” Cone said. They’re playing seriously. In this way, they mirror us. They’re taking turns with the ball. The way they play defense is different from ours. It’s incredibly efficient; they lead the league in terms of defense.

A best-of-seven series would be preferable because it allows for more close games. Cone emphasized that even with June Mar, the series would be easier.

On February 17th, San Miguel played Ginebra in an elimination game, winning 102-99.

Cone claimed that the Beermen’s increased pace of play resulted from Fajardo’s absence, with import Cameron Clark continuing to dominate the paint.

All three of their recent games have been won without June Mar, proving they can still perform well without him. Their performance is more rapid and features more ups and downs. They can increase the internal dominance of their import by working inside. Despite June Mar’s absence, “they’ve come through with flying colors,” Cone remarked.

Cone has also taken note of CJ Perez, who has emerged as the team leader for San Miguel with his impressive arsenal of moves this year.

There’s no denying that CJ Perez is having a season worthy of an MVP award. Nobody has been successful in stopping him from shooting a basket so far. In other words, he can keep his bearings. He’s been making a lot of threes.

Their arsenal is quite formidable. You must figure out how to keep people contained, particularly the import and CJ. They are passing the ball much more effectively than they have in the past, thanks to everyone’s efforts. That, Cone argued, was the deciding factor in the company’s success.

Cone hopes to capitalize on Christian Standhardinger’s stellar play now that Fajardo is sidelined; Standhardinger is currently leading the statistical race for Best Player of the Conference while also helping to make up for Japeth Aguilar’s absence.

Christian was our stopper in June/March. When facing off against June Mar, he is unmatched by any other player in the league. His role will shift now that June Mar is no longer there. We will try to put him in a position where we can take the most advantage of his defensive skills whether it’s going to be help side or whether it’s going to be guarding the import himself or whatever,” said Cone.

Yet, “there are so many players on that team that you have to account for,” he continued.

The outcomes of the quarterfinal games on Wednesday will determine the schedule for the semifinals.

Final Thoughts

The absence of June Mar Fajardo has not diminished the San Miguel Beermen’s ability to play excellent basketball. Despite losing their best player to injury, they have continued to perform at a high level and have become a formidable team to face in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals. Tim Cone, the coach of Barangay Ginebra, has recognized this and emphasized the challenge ahead for his team.

Cone has identified the Beermen’s increased pace of play and more efficient defense as the keys to their recent success. He has also taken note of CJ Perez’s emergence as a team leader and Christian Standhardinger’s stellar play in Fajardo’s absence. However, he has also acknowledged that the Beermen have many talented players who must be accounted for.

Overall, the semifinal matchup between Barangay Ginebra and the San Miguel Beermen promises to be an exciting and closely contested series among PBA teams. While Cone recognizes the Beermen’s current form, he remains confident in his team’s ability to defend their Governors’ Cup title. Only time will tell which team will emerge victorious, but one thing is certain: both teams will give it their all on the court.