Fajardo dedicates latest San Miguel Beer title to family in Cebu
MANILA, Philippines—June Mar Fajardo has once again reached the pinnacle of the PBA when San Miguel took the Commissioner’s Cup title, beating TNT in six games.
The 6-foot-10 center won his eighth championship with the Beermen and even though he’s experienced tremendous success over the years there’s still that lingering feeling that it wasn’t enough.
Fajardo has been known to be close to his family in Cebu, especially to his mother Marites, and he said that the championship would have been more special if his kin was in Manila with him.
“I dedicate this championship to my family and it’s just sad that they aren’t here with me tonight,” said Fajardo in Filipino after San Miguel’s Game 6 win, 102-90, Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It would’ve been better if they were here because I can hug them, I can hug my mom, dad, my brother, my nieces and nephews, it would’ve been a much different experience.”
Fajardo also admitted the latest title run was one of the most difficult they’ve had under the Leo Austria era.
San Miguel started the conference 2-5 and were in danger of missing the playoffs for just the second time with Austria at the helm.
Things changed when Chris McCullough replaced 2017 Best Import Charles Rhodes and the Beermen sneaked into the playoffs as the seventh seed on there way to becoming the lowest-ranked team in PBA history to win a championship.
“It wasn’t easy because the start of the conference we’re already struggling not just me but the whole team,” said Fajardo, the league’s only five-time MVP.
Fajardo was the league’s top scorer and rebounder in the Philippine Cup, a conference the Beermen ruled for the fifth straight year, with 22.1 points and 12.5 rebounds but his numbers dipped in the eliminations of the Commisioner’s Cup.
His confidence, however, never fluttered thanks to the constant support of his teammates.
“Personally, I struggled but my teammates, the coaching staff, never gave up on me, even if I had bad games, they were always there to show their support,” said Fajardo.
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