The Cebuano giant says he probably wouldn’t win the PBA’s highest individual award had he played for another team
Published 10:58 AM, January 11, 2019
Updated 10:58 AM, January 11, 2019
CLASS OF HIS OWN. June Mar Fajardo will make history as the first PBA player to win 5 Most Valuable Player awards. Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Winning a Most Valuable Player award is no easy task.
It’s not just statistics and individual performances that are weighed in the discussion, but also the team’s overall success.
So as he nears clinching a PBA record-setting fifth straight MVP plum, June Mar Fajardo couldn’t help but be thankful that he landed with perennial title contenders San Miguel.
“Sobrang suwerte talaga na nasa San Miguel ako kasi malakas ‘yung San Miguel, lagi kami nasa playoffs so malaki ‘yung chance na manalo ako kasi nasa playoffs,” he said during the PBA Media Day on Thursday, January 10.
(I’m lucky that I’m with San Miguel because we’re always in the playoffs so I always have a high chance to win the MVP.)
To put things into perspective, Fajardo has played in 8 finals battles since getting drafted in 2012 and won 6 of them with the Beermen.
Also, the Cebuano giant has only missed the playoffs once in 6 seasons.
“Suwerte ako na magagaling ‘yung teammates ko, ‘yung mga coaching staff namin.”
(I’m lucky that I have great teammates and we have a great coaching staff.)
As such, Fajardo’s bid for the league’s highest individual award will bank on San Miguel’s team success last season.
Although trailing NorthPort’s Stanley Pringle in statistics due to missing most of the Governors’ Cup, he is the favorite to win the MVP plum again following their title run in the Philippine Cup and runner-up finish in the Commissioner’s Cup.
In both campaigns, the 6-foot-10 center notched back-to-back Best Player of the Conference crowns before going down with a shin injury that sidelined him for two months.
But Fajardo – despite the growing list of accolades he gained throughout his career – is still left in awe with all of his accomplishments.
If the stars align, the 29-year-old will be the first player in PBA history to bag 5 MVP awards. All-time greats Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio have 4 each.
“Hindi ko talaga akalain na mananalo ako ng MVP. Ang ine-expect ko na mag-i-improve lang ako, pero ‘yung mga awards, hindi ko inisip. And kung maipanalo ko ‘yun, lima na. Sobrang blessed.”
(I didn’t imagine I would win MVP. I only expected to improve, but the awards, I don’t think about them. If I win MVP, that would be 5 for me. I’m super blessed.)