Despite decorated career, June Mar Fajardo is not yet done: ‘I don’t want to be stagnant’
MANILA, Philippines—June Mar Fajardo has reached an almost mythic stature in the PBA with his four MVPs, seven Best Player of the Conference trophies, and six titles attesting to his greatness.
It’s a resume worthy of absolute envy, but San Miguel’s amiable giant didn’t start this way.
Now standing at 6-foot-10 and weighing around 250 lbs, Fajardo was never perceived as a force of nature when he was just starting to play collegiate basketball with University of Cebu.
Fajardo admitted that there were always doubters who tried to bring his spirits down and these same naysayers were his motivation to become, arguably, the best player of his generation.
“What motivates me to become better are the doubters because they’re always saying negative things about me even before I got into the PBA,” said Fajardo in Filipino during the PBA Media Day Thursday at Solaire Resort and Casino.
“They were always saying that I wouldn’t cut it out in the PBA because I couldn’t dominate the players in college, let alone in the PBA. And when we won back-to-back championships in college they told me that my competition was small.”
Fajardo led UV to the 2010 and 2010 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. titles with the first coming against University of Visayas and the second one against Southwestern University.
This kind of collegiate dominance made Fajardo an asset for San Miguel, which then had a team in the ASEAN Basketball League, before the Kraken eventually made his way into the PBA as the top overall pick of the 2012 Draft.
Fajardo’s rookie year, however, was a struggle and he conceded the Rookie of the Year award to second overall pick Calvin Abueva.
This failure once again ignited Fajardo to become a destructive force.
Returning for his second season, Fajardo went on a tear putting up averages of 16.8 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks for his first MVP award and that became the start of an unprecedented string of four straight MVPs.
“I was just expecting that I will improve after my first season but I never expected that I would win four straight,” said Fajardo. “I’m lucky that I ended up in a strong team like San Miguel because I have strong teammates and every conference we’re in the playoffs. The credit belongs to them.”
Fajardo said that he’s not stopping where he is, and his mission is to always bring something new for every coming year, and the 2019 PBA season is no different.
“My promise to myself is that I will always strive to be better,” said Fajardo. “I don’t want to be stagnant, I don’t want to be content with what I’ve done. Call it greedy but I’m not satisfied with what I’ve achieved. I just want to improve.”
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