THANKS to his veteran teammates, June Mar Fajardo now knows how to manage his emotions especially in Petron’s highly-physical PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
“Basta palagi naman nila (Petron teammates) akong ni-re-remind eh,” the 6-foot-10 Petron sophomore center told Spin.ph before the team’s practice on Sunday at the Reyes Gym.
Fajardo, the leading candidate in the Best Player of the Conference race, remains a dominant inside force in the first three games of the series by averaging 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.3 blocks.
The big man out of University of Cebu has obviously adjusted his game well in the team’s 106-73 win over Rain or Shine in Game Three, showing patience on offense, not forcing his shots against the Elasto Painters’ double-team, and more importantly keeping his cool.
“Ina-adjust na namin sa practice eh yung ball movement namin kaya kami naka-shoot sa labas,” noted the 24-year-old Fajardo.
The former top pick overall in the rookie draft said he has also learned to accept that Rain or Shine won’t change its rugged ways, especially against him.
“Medyo may mga instances na nakakapikon din eh, pero ganun lang talaga. Iyun (physical plays) naman ang identity nila (E-Painters) eh. Wala na tayong magagawa eh, tactic nila 'yun eh so i-respect na lang natin,” he said.
Fajardo drew his first-ever technical foul in his young pro career during Game Two when he engaged Rain or Shine undersized forward Larry Rodriguez in a shoving match in the second half.
Petron players had to restrain Fajardo, who for a while tried to confront Rodriguez, who is six inches shorter than the Petron slotman.