CEBU’s finest will be the “centers” of attractions as defending champions San Miguel Beermen take on the tough Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 1 of the best-of-seven semifinal series of the 2015-2016 PBA Philippine Cup today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The league’s best player June Mar Fajardo of SMB will meet one of the league’s toughest defender JR Quiñahan in a series that is expected to go at least six games.
Rain or Shine’s defenses are all focused on stopping Fajardo, who is expected to be the first scoring option of the Beermen.
“Sa amo practice, gi-tutokan gyud namo maayo si Fajardo. Kahibawo man ta nga lisod gyud siya i-stop, so we will just try to limit his production, limit his touches. Kon ako na mobantay niya, i-try lang nako ako best para ma-limit nako siya. Dako man gud ang advantage ni Fajardo against nako kay mas taas siya (6-11) ug mas dako (269 pounds) man siya. Lisod gyud i-stop but I will try to do my job in keeping him from scoring,” Quiñahan told Sun.Star Cebu.
Aside from the 6’6” and 200-pound Quinahan, who played for the University of the Visayas, Fajardo will also be guarded by the 6’6” Beau Belga, 6’9” Raymond Almazan and 6’5” Jewel Ponferada.
The underrated former UV Green Lancer is all pumped up and ready to do his job in stopping Fajardo.
Rain or Sine coach Yeng Guiao will try to maximize his advantage of having bigmen who can shoot from the outside to draw Fajardo out of his comfort zone.
However, coach Leo Austria has been preparing the Beermen to face the Elasto Painters right after knowing that they were bracketed with RoS.
And Austria has the reasons to be cautious as the e-Painters were one of the two teams that handed the Beermen a loss in the elimination round, 99-84, last Nov. 4.
Rain or Shine had the edge over the Beermen in their Philipine Cup semifinals head-to-head match-up as it was the Elasto Painters that eliminated Petron Blaze (former name of SMB) in the 2013-2014 Season semifinals, 4-1 .