After another dominating performance in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel’s young big man June Mar Fajardo emerged as the runaway Best Player to capture his fourth award, moving within one more of tying former mentor Danny Ildefondo’s all-time five BPCs.
At 26, Fajardo is bound to make history for sure in the pro league.
Actually, his first three seasons as a pro was just a warm-up.
Consider these facts: Fajardo won two championships during the 2015 Philippine Cup and Governors Cup, respectively. He was also a huge factor in the Beermen’s Finals stint in the 2016 all-Filipino conference.
He also bagged two Most Valuable Player trophies the last two seasons, along with a place in the Mythical First team in 2014 and 2015. Fajardo also earned the 2015 Finals MVP in the Governors Cup.
If not for his left knee injury sustained during the semis against Rain or Shine, the former University of Cebu standout would have been leading the charge of San Miguel in the 2016 Philippine Cup against Alaska.
With skills that have improved significantly the last two years, sky is the limit for the soft-spoken SMB big man.
Ildefonso said as long as Fajardo maintains his workman-like approach in practice, the Cebuano slotman will be an unstoppable force in the next 10 years or so.
Other than just bullying his way in for a basket, Fajardo’s footwork has improved a lot, allowing him to spin around his defender for a twinner. He also added a decent mid-range to his game, making him a deadly inside and outside operator.
Personally, if Fajardo becomes a regular fixture at Gilas Pilipinas, his skills will reach international status because by then, he’ll be regularly battling Asia’s (and the world’s best big men).
Once that happens, and barring any major injuries, Fajardo could surpass PBA legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio’s four MVP awards. He could even win more championships in his professional career.