JUNE Mar Fajardo, the 6-foot-9 pride of Cebu, admitted feeling the pressure of being named the top PBA rookie pick this year.
“Malaki ang pressure na maging No. 1 sa rookie draft. Syempre mataas ang expectations sa akin,” Fajardo told Spin.ph, a day before the pro league holds its annual draft at the Robinsons Midtown Mall in Manila.
The high-profiled center out of University of Cebu has long been the object of Petron's desire, considering that it owns the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft proceedings.
With the Boosters set to make Fajardo their top pick on draft day, the franchise will now have a massive big man who could cover wider space on the defensive end, and a legitimate post threat inside.
But Fajardo doesn't want to be labeled as the team’s savior, admitting there are still a lot to improve on in his game in preparation for facing the big boys fo the pro league.
“After ng ABL, bumalik ako ng Cebu at nakiki-practice ako sa UC (University of Cebu) para ma-maintain ko ang kundisyon ko. Di rin naman kasi biro ang mga makakaharap ko sa PBA,” added Fajardo.
B-Meg coach Tim Cone said he’s glad to have a 6-foot-9 slotman in Yancy de Ocampo, Jean Marc Pingris, and Rafi Reavis who could rotate in covering Fajardo once the Llamados face the Boosters in the league's 38th season starting September 30.
Others expected to be tapped in the first round of the draft are San Sebastian Stags forward Calvin Abueva, Fil-Ams Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Alex Mallari, Keith Jensen and Kelly Nabong, Smart-Gilas veteran guard Chris Tiu, bruiser Vic Manuel and former FEU beanpole Aldrech Ramos.
A total of 57 rookie applicants make up the complete list of this year’s draft.