Cone says Ginebra must find ways to contain SMB’s Fajardo in the semis

Tim Cone recognized the fact that playing against San Miguel Beer without top big man Greg Slaughter puts Barangay Ginebra at a disadvantage due to the presence of two-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo.

And looking at his remaining big men in the roster, the American coach said there’s nobody, other than Slaughter, who could put the body on the 6-10 Fajardo.

“We’re gonna have to try to figure out a few things because we can’t stop him (Fajardo) one-on-one,” Cone said, whose team on Saturday, started preparing for its best-of-five PBA Governors Cup semifinal series against defending champion San Miguel.

“With Greg, we could pretty much have the big guy who can contain him.”

Cone said more likely, Fajardo will still get his usual double-double numbers, but Slaughter’s 6-foot-11 frame could have made the San Miguel top slotman bleed for every point.

“Now we don’t have that guy (Slaughter) anymore.”

READ: Greg Slaughter suffers partial tear on right ACL, could miss big chunk of 2017 PBA season

Japeth Aguilar, the other half of Ginebra’s “Twin Towers”, stands at 6-9, but Cone admitted that his lanky power forward doesn’t have the strength to contain Fajardo.

“That’s what makes June Mar so good. He’s got the size and strength and the skill. He’s got it all.  So no one’s gonna take him one-on-one,” said Cone.

READ: Millsap says Fajardo’s marked improvement makes his job easier at SMB

Even without Slaughter, who is out for the season due to a partial torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on his knee, the Kings managed to give the Beermen a decent fight before falling, 111-105 last month.

“We just have to go out and try to battle, try to find the proper matchup, see if we can move the ball like we’ve been doing for the most part (of the conference),” said the American mentor, who is bidding to help Ginebra end its eight-year PBA title drought. – Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava


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