On cusp of PBA dream, security officer Dominick Fajardo has preferences | Inquirer Sports

On cusp of PBA dream, security officer Dominick Fajardo has preferences

Dominick Fajardo (with ball)is thinking security first in
deciding basketball future.

Dominick Fajardo (with ball) is thinking security first in deciding basketball future. —PBA IMAGES

Dominick Fajardo’s rise from an unknown former college player working as a security officer for NLEX into one of the Road Warriors’ best players in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) On Tour has been considered as one of the remarkable stories of the exhibition series.

But his impressive play after six games in the On Tour has also posed the question of Fajardo’s immediate future, which could see the possibility of teams plucking the 29-year-old forward in September’s PBA Rookie Draft—and taking him away from the team that opened this golden door.


“He has to go through the Draft. We just hope that he won’t be snatched away from us,” said NLEX coach Frankie Lim after Fajardo’s 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals keyed NLEX’s 102-94 comeback win over San Miguel Beer on Wednesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.


PBA teams were allowed to tap players who have yet to join the Draft to take part in the On Tour as a chance for them to get noticed before the proceedings take place.

Good averages

Among the players with similar status as Fajardo are former Letran sniper Fran Yu, who plays for NorthPort and ex-University of Perpetual Help mainstay Kim Aurin, currently with Barangay Ginebra.

“I’ve been thinking about job stability,” said Fajardo in Filipino. “At least, I can play here at NLEX but that is something that I have to think about and discuss with coach Frankie and boss Ronald (Dulatre, the Road Warriors’ team executive).”

Fajardo’s averages of 13.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals and his play as an undersized 6-foot forward who can bang bodies underneath should answer questions of stability once the On Tour concludes.

He played for Bulacan State University in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League, becoming the league’s first Most Valuable Player (MVP) back in 2016. But the PBA seemed like a long shot and Fajardo eventually landed at Metro Pacific Tollways, NLEX’s parent company, to work on security concerns within the 84-kilometer tollway.

In-between his daily tasks, Fajardo was able to find time on the hardcourt, playing in the MVP Olympics, an annual sportsfest for companies under Manny V. Pangilinan and the Bulacan Republicans of the National Basketball League.


But a situation that forced David Murrell to skip a PBA 3×3 leg for Cavitex opened not only one door for Fajardo but another which was a spot on NLEX’s On Tour roster.

Now, Fajardo is just one step away from fulfilling an unlikely dream.

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“Hardwork pays off,” said Fajardo, who hopes that NLEX calls his name if the Draft becomes his next leap. “I feel that it would be a better situation if I could still play for NLEX.”


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