Fajardo is new PBA benchmark
And it came to pass that this humble Cebuano giant shattered the long-standing record of two PBA legends and established himself as the new benchmark in individual greatness in the league’s premier cage league.
Heckled on the court as a gangling youth back in his days in Cebu, June Mar Fajardo now has got the admiration and adulation of the Filipino basketball fans as well as his peers and foes as a five-time PBA MVP winner.
Fajardo stood mighty proud at mid-court as he earned his fifth MVP plum and led the honor rolls in PBA Season 43 Leo’s Awards Night at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last night.
“I can’t believe it as people used to laugh at me on the court,” said Fajardo, extending his reign as PBA MVP to a fifth straight season after losing the Rookie of the Year award to Calvin Abueva in 2013.
The Pinamungajan, Cebu native acknowledged a lot of people who helped his rise to greatness. First and foremost are his parents Bonifacio and Marites whom he invited to join him on the floor during the rites.
“They’re my biggest inspirations. We’re poor but they stuck together and raised us – me and brother Jay – as good persons,” said Fajardo.
As in the previous years, Fajardo hauled a number of Leo Trophies as MVP and as a member of the Mythical First Team and for his All-Defensive Team citation.
Stanley Pringle, Paul Lee, Marcio Lassiter and Japeth Aguilar also made the Mythical First Team while Gabe Norwood, Rafi Reavis, Rome dela Rosa and Chris Ross joined Fajardo in the All-Defensive Team.
Thompson bagged the Most Improved Player plum and joined Poy Erram, Arwind Santos, Matthew Wright and Mark Barroca in the Mythical Second Team.
Jason Perkins, meanwhile, emerged the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year award.
But it’s the night of Fajardo as he broke the record four MVP awards of Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio.
“They will be forever PBA legends. It really so happened that I landed at San Miguel Beer, a strong team where I’ve got to be with good teammates, and we’re always figuring in the playoffs,” said Fajardo. “Ewan ko kung ano ang nagyari kung sa ibang team ako napunta,” he added.
Fajardo credited his college coaches Rhoel Gomez and Caleb Gawangon, and adviser Baldomero Estenzo for the traits and individual skills he possesses now. “Sila ang nagturo sa akin. Kung ano ang mga tinuro nila, dala-dala ko hanggang ngayon,” said Fajardo.
“Up to now, Mr. Estenzo will call me up when I miss free throws. Back at University of Cebu, he’s our team manager and he didn’t want us to go easy in practice. He wanted us to always go hard,” Fajardo also said.
And even now that he’s already the league benchmark, Fajardo doesn’t intend to go slow.
“I want to keep on improving. I don’t want to be stagnant,” said Fajardo. “And so it doesn’t end here. May kasunod pa
ito,” added Fajardo, hinting at winning more MVP awards.
Five-time MVP winner June Mar Fajardo.