JUNE Mar Fajardo had already captured the top individual award last season, and he wants everybody to be happy this time.
The reigning league MVP said the Best Player of the Conference award of the Philippine Cup is the last thing on his mind as he tries to lead San Miguel Beer to its first PBA championship in three years.
Once again the frontrunner for the all-Filipino conference’s top individual plum after topping the statistical race, Fajardo insisted his sights are solely trained on helping the Beermen win their first title since the 2011 Governors’ Cup.
“Gusto ko mag-champion, so kailangan mag-stick kami sa goal na yun,” he said after the Beermen took Game One of their best-of-seven semifinal series against Talk ’N Text on Friday night. “Yung individual awards, hindi ko iniisip yun. Mas iniisip ko yung championship para masaya lahat.”
[See June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Greg Slaughter lead race for PBA 'Best Player' award]
“Wag lang mag-relax, kasi alam naman natin na delikado yung Talk ‘N Text eh,” the soft-spoken big man said. “One game at a time lang muna.”
Fajardo is bracing for a more physical Tropang Texters side in Game Two on Sunday when the Beermen seek to widen the lead in their series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite a defensive blanket thrown at him, the pride of Cebu still managed to throw his weight around on Friday, tallying a team-high 23 points on top of 10 boards, three assists, two blocks, and one steal in just 27 minutes.
“Alam ko naman na i-do-double team nila ako eh, so pinag-aralan ko i-kick out yung bola sa mga shooters,” the 25-year-old slotman said.
“Pero next game mas physical pa kasi malamang may (bagong) game plan sila.”
Good thing he now has returning teammate Alex Cabagnot to facilitate the offense.
“Syempre masaya ako (sa pagbalik niya),” Fajardo said. “Maganda tinakbo ng team. Malaking addition siya sa team.”