SAN Miguel went back to the same formula that made it a champion team the last four seasons.
Pound the ball inside to big man June Mar Fajardo.
With the Beermen again adopting their proven bread and butter, they hacked out a 106-101 win over TnT Katropa in Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals as the 6-foot-10 Fajardo delivered the goods that ties the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
Fajardo asserted himself at the post, scoring 22 points, 10 of them coming in the third quarter when he sparked a 12-0 San Miguel run that allowed the team to take control with a 76-65 lead.
Coach Leo Austria later admitted the Beermen's game plan of having Fajardo get more involve on offense by giving him the ball at the post.
"June Mar was able to play comfortably inside and that's what we need from him," said Austria.
"The players understand what made us a great team in the past few years."
Fajardo, the league's only five-time MVP, added seven rebounds and was 10-of-14 from the field.
His easy basket underneath off a feed by the doubled-team Chris McCullough, kept the rallying Katropa at bay in the final 27 seconds, 100-96.
"Yung key basket niya is what we're looking from him since five years ago because that's his advantage," said Austria. "And I'm thankful his teammates understand him dahil we won seven championships with him as the priority in the shaded area."
For his part, Fajardo felt grateful that the Beermen have kept their faith on him despite the struggles he went through in the playoffs.
"Hinahanap ako ng mga teammates ko. Kahit nagmimintis ako, pero hinahanap pa rin nila ako," he said.
"Binibigyan nila ako ng kumpiyansa, kaya kailangan suklian ko yung tiwala nila." (RG)