IT’S going to be an irresistible force against an immovable object when fast-rising Petron center June Mar Fajardo meets veteran Air21 counterpart Asi Taulava in their first-ever Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) encounter.
The two big men clash on Wednesday in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in a match-up featuring the player considered the future of the league against a former MVP, who represents the remnants of the dominant big men of the past decade.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo has obviously transformed into a dominant inside force since late last season when he helped the Boosters reach the Finals of the season-ending Governors Cup.
They Said It!
“Malakas din (si Taulava) saka sigurado ko babanggain niya ako. Pero ako, babanggain ko na lang din siya." - Petron center June Mar Fajardo
And in Petron’s strong 5-0 start in the All-Filipino conference, Fajardo further raised his level of play by averaging career-bests of 15.4 points, 17.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game.
But he doesn’t expect things to come easy against Taulava, even though the Air21 big man is concededly past his prime at age 40.
“Banggaan talaga iyan sa ilalim, siyempre, magkasing-laki lang naman kami eh,” the soft-spoken Fajardo told Spin.ph.
The former University of Cebu star center knows Taulava won’t give an inch in the paint as the 40-year-old Fil-Tongan will try to throw his full weight against his young 24-year-old body.
“Malakas din siya saka sigurado ko babanggain niya ako. Pero ako, babanggain ko na lang din siya,” he added.
Taulava remains fit as reflected in his solid stats of 8.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 35.3 minutes of action for Air21 this season.