IF there is any consolation for Petron after its early exit in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, Olsen Racela said it should be the exceptional play of June Mar Fajardo.
So impressed was Petron's rookie coach with Fajardo that he rates the No.1 rookie pick overall's performance against Talk 'N Text in their best-of-three quarterfinal playoff as one of the best he has seen from a homegrown Filipino big man.
“Ganyan kalaking Pilipino na ganyan ang galaw? Wala kang makikitang ganun eh," said Racela of his 6-foot-10 slotman. "Si June Mar, ang ganda ng pinapakita niya sa amin. I mean, if focal point ng offense kay June Mar, marami siyang magagawa.”
The Pinamungahan, Cebu native finished the conference with averages of 10.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in only 21 minutes of action and helped hold Talk 'N Text import Jerome Jordan to averages of 11 points and six rebounds during their two quarterfinal games.
Making Fajardo's performance more impressive was that it came in a conference featuring imports of unlimited height, Racela told Spin.ph.
“Isipin mo, ito (Commissioner’s Cup) puro imports na 6-10, what more kung All-Filipino ang conference. So malaking room for improvement pa for him iyan,” he said.
The former San Miguel star said he expects the former University of Cebu star center to emerge an even better player after his stint with Gilas Pilipinas starting in June.
“Although (naturalized player Marcus) Douthit is there, I'm sure June Mar will get his opportunity. Pero iyang experience na iyan sa Fiba-Asia will help us a lot in the Governors Cup,” said the 42-year-old Racela.
"It will help him in his game, but it will also help the team. Gagaling siya, gagaling din ang team," he added.