PETRON rookie center June Mar Fajardo is finally relieved his `physical ordeal’ at the hands of Rain or Shine is over and done with.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo admitted he and the rest of the Boosters felt exhausted after engaging the Elasto Painters in a physical semifinal series which they won, 3-1, and put an end to Rain or Shine’s reign as PBA Governors Cup champion.
Still, the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart is thankful to the Elasto Painters for getting them ready for the best-of-seven Finals against sister-team San Mig Coffee.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Rain or Shine saka kay Beau (Belga), pini-physical nila kami, pero ang dami naming natutunan, so tingin ko magagamit namin yun (in the Finals),” Fajardo said after helping
Petron clinched the series in Game 4, 110-89, Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The former University of Cebu standout pointed to Spin.ph his aching hip as evidence of how much he was banged up in the semis, but definitely toughened up by the physical plays of Belga and Rain or Shine’s other bruisers JR Quinahan, Jervy Cruz, and Larry Rodriguez.
“Grabe ang dinanas namin na physical. Napagod kami kaya itong experience namin dito, madadala namin,” said Fajardo.
“Break daw muna kami bukas (Tuesday) kasi sobrang exhausted na din kami,” he added.
But Fajardo was a revelation in the series, serving as a big thorn on the side of the depleted Rain or Shine side by averaging career-highs of 14.7 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field.
Up next for Fajardo is another physical big man in Marc Pingris, when Petron and San Mig plays Game One of the Finals starting Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fajardo, however noted the 6-foot-5 Pingris is not as physically tough compared to the bulky Belga.
“Si Ping, di masyadong physical kumpara kay Beau, pero basta galingan na lang namin. May the best team win,” said the 24-year-old freshman center.