Fajardo pushes past fatigue to deliver masterful performance
June Mar Fajardo isn’t called “The Kraken” just because of his enormous 6-foot-10, 270-lb frame, he’s got that nickname through sheer force of basketball greatness.
And the four-time MVP showed once more that he fully deserves to be called a monster among mortals.
Fajardo became an unstoppable force for the last 22 playing minutes of San Miguel’s title-clinching Game 5 win in the PBA Philippine Cup against Magnolia at Mall of Asia Arena Friday.
The eventual Finals MVP finished with a ridiculous 42-point, 20-rebound double-double to lead the Beermen to a 108-99 double overtime victory.
And in that big of an occasion, Fajardo made sure his performance would be bigger.
“I never thought I would dominate in the fourth quarter or in the overtime because I was so tired and I was cramping up,” said Fajardo in Filipino. “But my teammates kept finding me, and I had to produce, thankfully my shots went in.”
Fajardo was every bit dominant in the fourth quarter and in the two extra period when he scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
In the second overtime alone, the six-time Best Player of the Conference had eight points to help the Beermen finally breakaway as the Hotshots ducked for cover.
Fajardo’s late-game dominance, however, wouldn’t have happened if not for Arwind Santos’ game-tying triple in regulation that send the game into overtime with the score knotted at 86-86.
“Arwind played a hell of a game,” said Fajardo of Santos who had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. “If he hadn’t made that shot, we would’ve lost. That was, as he said, the hand of God.”
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