Fajardo, Slaughter face off in crucial SMB-Ginebra game
MANILA, Philippines – Young big men Greg Slaughter and JunMar Fajardo will finally face off in a meaningful game when the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the San Miguel Beermen take each other Wednesday night in a crucial PBA Governors Cup game at the PhilSports Arena.
Fajardo was unable to play in San Miguel’s games against Ginebra in the previous two conferences due to injuries, although they did play against each other in the All-Star Game.
Tonight will be their first meaningful match-up, with both squads aiming to secure a spot in the Top Four of the league standings and claim a twice-to-beat edge in the quarter-finals.
“Both teams are coming off a loss and are battling for a Top Four slot. I can only expect an intense and hard-fought battle,” Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso told PBA.ph.
“(SMB import) Reggie Williams and Fajardo will be very tough match-ups for us,” he added.
The spotlight obviously will be on Fajardo (21.8 points, 17.3 rebounds), and Slaughter (15.8 points, 12.5 rebounds), but Ginebra can take advantage of SMB’s lack of perimeter personnel as Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross are still both out with injuries.
“Our focus will be on our defense, our transition D,” said SMB coach Biboy Ravanes. “We can’t allow easy points. If we want to improve our standing, we have to compete for 48 minutes. We cannot afford to let-up.”
Ginebra is coming off a loss to Rain or Shine, while San Miguel lost to Meralco in their previous games, but both teams are still in the hunt for a Top Four slot. The winner of tonight’s game will already clinch a spot in the quarter-finals.
Game time is at 8 p.m.