JUNE Mar Fajardo has always been on the spotlight, but he’s still not used to interviews that he forgot to greet his dad, Bonifacio, an advance birthday greeting while talking in the post-game TV interview after San Miguel Beer’s 104-96 win over Phoenix on Sunday night.
The four-time MVP anchored the Beermen’s balanced effort with 23 points, 16 boards, four assists, and four blocks to be named the Best Player of the Game and get the customary post-game interview on TV with courtside reporter Rizza Diaz.
“Birthday nga ng papa ko bukas, nakalimutan ko pa i-greet sa TV,” Fajardo said in a chat with reporters after emerging from the SMB dugout. “Paki-greet na lang papa ko ng “Happy Birthday!” bukas.”
“Kinakabahan talaga ako kapag in-interview ako, hindi pa ko nasanay so ayun, nakalimutan ko,” he added. “Nire-relax ko nga sarili ko sa interview kaso kinakabahan pa rin ako. Tatawagan ko na lang mamaya.”
Like doing interviews, Fajardo insisted he’s also not used to his team being installed as a favorite to win their all-Filipino crown for an unprecedented fourth straight time.
“Walang madali,” the 6-foot-10 Cebuano center said. “Mahirap yun para sa amin kasi nga yung ibang team, pinaghahandaan kami. yung ibang teams, lumalakas so hindi namin kailangan mag-relax.”
“Kailangan pa naming mag-praktis nang mas maayos at sundin yung sistema namin,” he added.
The Beermen showed a tendency to be complacent in the game against the Fuel Masters, who rallied within five points, 85-80, halfway through the payoff period.
“Tendency talaga namin na medyo mag-relax kapag nakalamang. Bad habits,” Fajardo admitted. “Isa sa mga bad habits namin kaya kailangan naming tanggalin iyon. Buti nanalo kami. Sinunod lang namin yung system ni Coach kaya na-execute kami nang maayos.”
“Ang dami naming turnovers, pero buti na lang marami rin kaming assists. Nabawi namin sa assists,” he added.