Meralco’s veteran forward Danny Ildefonso may no longer be part of Petron Blaze, but he still hopes that Boosters center June Mar Fajardo could surpass whatever individual accomplishments he has had in the PBA.
The 37-year-old veteran said Fajardo is very much capable of winning multiple Best Player of Conference awards - or even surpass the two league MVPs and five successive Best Player awards that Ildefonso has won in his 15-year career with the Petron/ San Miguel Corp. franchise.
“Basta naman makapasok sila (Boosters) sa Finals, kaya niyang makuha yung Best Player of the Conference. Siyempre, happy ako sa kanya (Fajardo),” Ildefonso told Spin.ph on Tuesday upon learning that his former student leads the race for the individual award in the Philippine Cup.
The power-playing sophomore big man out of the University of Cebu remained in first place with a 40.4 statistical points average at the end of the elimination round, holding a slim lead over Barangay Ginebra’s high-leaping forward Japeth Aguilar's 38.8 SPs.
Ildefonso said the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old center because of his blue-collar attitude in practice.
“Nararapat lang sa bata yung BPC. Napakasipag na bata. Dapat nga matalo niya yung five straight ko na Best Player (of the Conference), pero siyempre, depende rin iyan sa ilalaro ng team saka kung lagi siyang healthy,” he added.
The statistical points make up 40 percent of the tabulation for the individual honor given each conference, while the other 60 percent comes from votes from media (30 percent), players (25%) and league officials (5%).
Fajardo registered his 11th double-double in 12 games this season after finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds to help Petron pull off a 101-88 win over Barako Bull and take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three quarterfinal series on Tuesday.
The former University of Cebu standout is averaging career-best numbers of 15.0 points, 15.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks this conference.