THE long-awaited PBA showdown between former Cebu college rivals Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo in the Commissioner's Cup on Sunday is once again in doubt after Fajardo suffered an ankle injury in practice.
The 6-10 Fajardo, named the Philippine Cup's Best Player of the Conference, sat out the first Petron-Ginebra match-up of the season after hurting his knee three days before his anticipated Christmas Day showdown with the rookie Slaughter.
Now Fajardo listed himself as “50-50” for the match against Slaughter and the Gin Kings on Sunday after spraining his left ankle on an awkward landing while trying to stop Yousef Taha in practice.
“Sa practice ako na-sprain. Nag-fake kasi si (Yousef) Taha tapos tumalon si (import) Josh (Boone) saka si Arwind (Santos), ako nasa likod, tapos mali bagsak ko,” Fajardo told Spin.ph, while pointing to his heavily bandaged swollen ankle.
Fajardo, in fact, failed to join San Miguel’s only tuneup match on Tuesday as the Beermen dropped a 110-114 loss to Barako Bull at the Gatorade Hoops Center. He also didn't join the shootaround in Gilas Pilipinas' first practice session for the World Cup on Monday night.
Still, Fajardo admitted he’s looking forward to his first PBA match-up with Slaughter, the two having fought memorable battles in the Cesafi back in Cebu.
“Hopefully, makakalaro ako (against Ginebra). Kaya di na muna ako naka-ensayo. Pinapahinga lang muna ako ni coach,” added the former University of Cebu center, who averaged career-best numbers of 16.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 assists.
The San Miguel-Ginebra match also features a battle between two highly-touted imports in Josh Boone for San Miguel and Leon Rodgers for Ginebra.
Boone played four seasons for the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, while Rodgers is best remembered for scoring 66 points that included 15 three-point shots while playing for the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association.