Jireh Ibanes returned to the Rain or Shine Elastopainter’s lineup after being absent during the entire PBA Philippine Cup Semi-Finals. Despite putting up good numbers for his team, he will be remembered tonight as the man who took down the giant, Jun Mar Fajardo.
The game was stopped during the 7:11 mark of the 3rd quarter as Fajardo went down grasping his knee after Jireh Ibanes accidentally tangled their legs while boxing out for the rebound.
“I need to box out. I need to rebound” explained Ibanes who emphasized that he was just doing his job.
“I just tried to be there. I got the rebound after that because I was in the best position that I can.”
Fajardo was stretchered out of the court and was brought to St Luke’s General Hospital for a check up for a possible MCL or ACL.
The doctors who were attending Fajardo said that he heard a ‘pop’ inside his knee.
“I’m really sorry that happened to him,” said Ibanes. “I can’t emphasize enough how sorry I am. I hope affect them – obviously they won against us so I hope it won’t matter and they will win.”
With the loss, Ibanes finished with 6 points and a rebound (which ironically injured Fajardo).
Rain or Shine head coach, Yeng Guiao defended Ibanes on the play.
“I don’t think he even knew that it was Fajardo he was boxing out. He just boxed somebody out. Those things happen. That was where even Almazan got injured,” added Guiao
Rain or Shine lost the game and failed to capitalize on Fajardo’s injury to force a Game 7, 90-82. Fajardo left the game scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in 20 minutes of game play.
With that, San Miguel is to face the Alaska Aces once again which is a PBA Philippine Cup rematch of 2015 starting January 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.