MANILA, Philippines—While some rookies yearned for guidance along the way, June Mar Fajardo hasn’t.
Fajardo’s steady climb is due to the big man’s extra effort during practice as well as relishing the presence of veteran teammates Danny Ildefonso and Dorian Peña.
And it showed in Petron Blaze’s big 87-79 win over Rain or Shine last Saturday as the six-foot-10 Fajardo, the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week (March 11 to 17), delivered with 20 points and 13 rebounds
“It’s a testament to how he works hard. Even after practice he spends extra hours para ma-hone game niya. Iba talaga drive ni June Mar,” said head coach Olsen Racela.
“June Mar admittedly looks up to Danny I and who better to teach him than Danny I?” said Racela.” “Talagang binibigyan siya ni Danny I ng oras during and after practice, working on his post moves, and it’s showing in his game. Before wala siyang jump hook, ngayon meron na, kay Danny I yon.”
Peña, the stocky center, on the other hand, teaches Fajardo the dirty work.
“Si Dorian ang tumutulong sa kanya on the defensive end, teaching him a few tricks here and there,” added Racela.
So far, the 23-year-old Fajardo is averaging 10 points on 53.7% shooting and 7.5 rebounds per game.
“There’s no rush,” said Racela on Fajardo’s progress as the Cebu native continues to improve. “But he is steadily getting there.”