JUNE Mar Fajardo knows that as long as he laces up his basketball sneakers, he will forever be associated two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso.
But Fajardo doesn’t mind it as he cherishes working with Ildefonso during his rookie year in the league when the two of them played together at San Miguel.
More so now when the 6-foot-5 Ildefonso was recently included in the PBA’s 40 Greatest Players list.
“Siyempre, happy ako at naabot niya yun (top 40 greatest list),” Fajardo told Spin.ph on the eve of San Miguel Beer’s key matchup against Talk ‘N Text on Friday in the Philippine Cup.
The 25-year-old Fajardo felt indebted to the 37-year-old Ildefonso, who patiently taught him post moves and proper positioning inside as a rookie two years ago.
“Dati napapanuod ko lang siya sa TV sa Cebu, pero nung magkasama kami, ang dami niyang tinuro sa akin. Paborito ko ngang ginagawa niya yung one-dribble-fadeaway sa poste,” said the young Cebuano big man, who averages 19.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks this season.
Although he’s been putting in MVP-like numbers for the second straight season, Fajardo said he isn’t even thinking of becoming part of the league’s `Greatest Players’ list down the road.
“Masyado pang maaga yan, marami pa akong kailangang i-improve, lalo na sa depensa,” shared the reigning league MVP.
Carrying the weight of San Miguel’s title hopes for this season is heavy, Fajardo admitted, but explained he’s trying to be calm during games, even if the pressure is mounting.
“Tina-try ko lang maging relax, yung maging kalmado lang para maisip ko yung kailangan kong gawin sa laro,” he added.