ELIJAH Millsap may have the best output in the opener of the PLDT Telpad-PBA Governors Cup Finals, but the highlight-reel play definitely belonged to rookie big man June Mar Fajardo.
The 6-foot-10 freshman brought the house down at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday night when he hammered home an in-your-face slam dunk off San Mig import Marcus Blakely in the third period of a 100-84 Game One win by Petron Boosters over the Mixers.
The move only shows how the year’s top overall pick has grown in confidence as a player in the three conferences he’s played for the SMC franchise so far.
“Medyo tumataas na `yung confidence ko, medyo nagagawa ko na `yung gusto kong gawin,” said Fajardo, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, while grabbing eight rebounds, and two assists in 37 minutes of play in his Finals debut in Asia’s pioneering pro league.
“Nagpapasalamat ako kay coach (Gee Abanilla) kasi binibigyan nila ako ng kumpiyansa, at ini-encourage nila ako.”
Fajardo’s inside domination comes on the heels of Millsap’s triple-double effort of 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
“Wino-workout namin yan sa practice,” said Fajardo of his improved inside game. “After practice wino-workout namin `yung kailangan kong i-improve.”
Following a tough, physical semifinals series against Rain or Shine, Fajardo said he came prepared against the Mixers.
“Malalaki din sila (Mixers). Mas lamang sila sa talon, pero kapag na-do-double ako, saka kick out,” said the Pinamungahan, Cebu native, citing the team’s 10-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc, including six three-pointers in the final period.