JUNE Mar Fajardo walked gingerly out of the Petron dugout at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night after a bruising showdown with Rain or Shine's 'Extra Rice Inc' pair of JR Quinahan and Beau Belga.
He expects twice the trouble three days from now.
Moments after Petron suffered its first loss of the season, 95-99, at the hands of Rain or Shine in an overtime thriller on Saturday, Fajardo was too tired to think about another anticipated scrap against Ginebra's 'Twin Towers' on Christmas Day.
“Pahinga muna, Break din kasi kami bukas (Sunday)," the 6-10 Petron sophomore told
They Said It!
“Medyo mahirap din yun (game against Ginebra) eh kasi malalaki. May Slaughter at may Japeth pa na blocker.” - June Mar Fajardo on Christmas Day showdown with Ginebra and its 'Twin Towers'
. "Sa Monday pag-uusapan naman namin 'yun eh (Ginebra game).”
Fajardo was sensational as usual against Rain or Shine, firing 22 points to go with 16 rebounds and four blocks. But the constant banging by Belga and Quinahan appeared to slow him down in the final stretch before he fouled out early in overtime.
Now, the Cebu native intends to make use of the Sunday break to rest and recharge as he braces for a titanic showdown with the Ginebra pair of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar in a marquee battle on Christmas pitting the two most dominant teams in the league.
Fajardo knows Slaughter very well, the two rivals having been rivals in the Cebu college leagues before both found their way into the PBA as the top picks in the rookie draft the past two years.
But Fajardo was also candid enough to admit that he has been keeping an eye on Slaughter all this time.
“Pinapanood ko mga laro niya. Maganda ang laro niya, double-double siya lagi saka malayo na,” said the 24-year-old Petron big man, referring to Slaughter’s huge improvement since their college days in the Cesafi tournament in Cebu.
“Ngayon dominante siya (Slaughter) eh, saka yung moves niya effective, nako-convert niya. Sa rebounds din may mga putbacks siya,” he added.
“Medyo mahirap din yun (game against Ginebra) eh kasi malalaki. May Slaughter at may Japeth pa na blocker,” he said. "Tingin ko mahihirapan kami, pero mahahanapan naman ng paraan."