BEER-ACLE last season, now a shot ar a third straight PBA Philippine Cup championship.
San Miguel is again on the brink of achieving something special and that is not lost on June Mar Fajardo.
With the Beermen back in the finals of the all-Filipino conference, the most successful franchise in league history also put itself on track to become only the second team to win the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Help trophy.
The award is named after the late PBA commissioner and given to the team that wins the Philippine Cup three seasons in a row. TnT Katropa was the first to do the feat in 2011 to 2013.
The Beermen are on track to mirror the feat, which Fajardo wants to add his portfolio of achievements.
“History yun, di ba? Gusto ko mapabilang ulit sa history,” said the 6-foot-10 Cebuano, who played a major role in the team’s return to the all-Filipino tournament finals following a 96-83 rout of TnT Katropa in the deciding game of their best-of-seven showdown Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The three-time league MVP finished with game-highs of 22 points and 19 rebounds in a monster performance that helped the Beermen clinch the series by winning the final two games.
Fajardo was also a key player when San Miguel recorded the greatest comeback in PBA history last season in this same tournament by rallying from a 0-3 finals deficit to frustrate Alaska.
Now that another opportunity has presented itself, Fajardo vows to make the most opportunity of it.
“Kasi hindi natin alam kung kailan ulit babalik yung ganyang opportunity,” he stressed. “Ngayong nandito na kami, binigyan na kami ng opportunity, sayang naman kung mawawala pa.”
The Beermen will face the winner of the Star-Barangay Ginebra semifinal series that is also down to a deciding Game Seven. Fajardo said he has no preference as to which sister team San Miguel will face in the finals.
But he’s more than relieved to have finally bundled the TnT Katropa out of the way.
“Nakalampas din,” he said of the Texters, who at one time in the series led the Beermen, 3-2.
With the path to the finals a rather rough one for the defending champions, Fajardo has a lot more motivation to do good in the championship round, and eventually achieve history.
“Hindi ko naman masasabi na makukuha namin,” he said. “Basta gagawin namin lahat, bibigay namin lahat para makuha namin ito.”