Three games into his PBA career, Petron Blaze big man June Mar Fajardo is now revealing his menacing side as a big man.
In the final 10 minutes of the game between his team and pre-tournament favorite San Mig Coffee, Fajardo flexed his muscles, pushed and readily mixed it up with big guys like Mixers center Yancy de Ocampo and Jean Marc Pingris.
He grabbed offensive rebounds, converted shots inside, intimidated opponents who dared enter the shaded lane for a layup, and in one highlight moment – went for a two-handed jam off a helpless de Ocampo, who was caught off-guard in the middle of a searing Petron rally.
All those happened in one quarter, which, after the game, drew a wide grin from Petron rookie coach Olsen Racela.
“At least, nakita ng mga tao ano ang kayang gawin ni June Mar,” Racela proudly said after his team dropped a close 90-84 decision against the Mixers.
Fajardo, this year’s top rookie pick, banged in 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, five on the offensive end, showing that the sleeping giant, has been awakened.
Asked about his revitalized play during the final period, Fajardo gave a wide smile, especially when I asked him about his two-handed slam against de Ocampo, whom he engaged in a physical tussle underneath the goal throughout the match.
“Ine-encourage ako ng mga teammates ko na gawin lang yung dapat kong gawin. Nung nakita ko yung bola, kinuha ko tapos, nag-dunk na ako,” said Fajardo, whose confidence obviously skyrocketed from there, especially after Petron fans erupted in jubilation for that highlight play.
That’s just the start of Fajardo’s continuous metamorphosis in his two-week-old PBA career. There’s a long way to go, and for sure, as Fajardo learns the trick of the trade, he’ll be one of the most unstoppable big man to ever play the game.
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