NOW it can be told.
Usually meek on and off the court, San Miguel Beer giant June Mar Fajardo vowed to put an end to his Mr. Nice Guy ways prior to Game Seven after being at the receiving end of hard shots - both intentional and not - for much of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
The 6-10 third-year slotman told Spin.ph that being kind, not necessarily being soft, makes him a target of abuse.
"Ayaw ko na maging mabait (sa court). Inaabuso ako eh," said Fajardo in his usual baritone voice. "Ang sakit nga ng katawan ko, halos lahat ng kanto may tama. Hindi ko lang sinasabi sa inyo kasi sobrang focused ako sa series."
Fajardo also confirmed an information that reached Spin.ph about how he called his mother Maritess and asked her not to watch Game Seven, because he intended to turn into a 'beast.'
"Sinabihan ko sila Mama na, 'Huwag po kayong manood ng game sa TV mamaya, please.' Tapos nagulat siya. Tinanong ako, bakit daw," the former University of Cebu standout said. "Sabi ko: 'Magiging halimaw ako sa game. Sinasaktan na kasi ako Mama.' Nabigla siya."
Mrs. Fajardo cracked up when asked about the matter by Spin.ph.
"Oo, sinabi nga nya 'yun sa akin. Nagulat ako kasi hindi naman siya ganun. Hindi nga marunong magalit si June Mar," said Mama Maritess. "Kaya pinagsabihan ko agad. Sabi ko 'wag niya gawin 'yun kasi baka atakihin ako. Natatakot kasi ako sa mga gulo na ganun."
When she saw Fajardo plant an elbow on Alaska defender Samigue Eman's chest late in Game Seven, the mother said she got an inkling that June Mar wasn't joking.
"Nanood pa rin kasi ako. Nung nakita ko nga 'yun, lumayo ako sa TV, sabi ko ayaw kong mag-alala nang husto," said Mrs. Fajardo from the family's hometown of Pinamungajan in Cebu.
"May alta-presyon kasi ako kaya bata pa lang sila June Mar, di ako nagkukulang ng pagpapaalala sa kanila na huwag makikipag-away," she said.
Still, Mama Maritess doesn't believe Fajardo will suddenly turn into a monster.
"Sabi n'ya lang 'yun. Mabait si June Mar. Hindi marunong magalit 'yun. Tingnan niyo next conference, tahimik na ulit 'yun sa game," she assured.
The mother also bared how her son immediately called her and husband Bonifacio the moment he won the first PBA championship of his young career.
"Tumawag agad siya. Sabi ko, 'Anak, nanood kami.' Nagulat kasi sabi daw niya 'wag na kami manood," she said, laughing.
Fajardo, who paid tribute to his school roots by wearing UC undershirts during the finals, is eager to go back to his hometown but has to stay for a few more days in Manila as SMC management will still meet with the whole team.
The victory party of the Beermen for the fans is also tentatively set for Tuesday night.
Mama Maritess bared that whenever Fajardo comes home, her superstar son only has one simple request.
"Lagi niya kong pinagluluto ng favorite niyang ulam," she said.
Pressed to reveal what is Fajardo's favorite meal, Mrs. Fajardo broke into a loud laugh.
"Isang kilo ng nilagang okra. Favorite niya 'yun. Isinasawsaw niya sa suka na may sili saka puso (Cebuano rice delicacy packed in coconut tree leaves). Masaya na siya 'run," she said.
Meanwhile, a San Miguel official told Spin.ph they were surprised to see Fajardo looking gloomy inside the dugout shortly after the thrilling 80-78 Game Seven win.
"Nagtaka ako, malungkot siya sa sulok kaya tinanong ko. Natawa ako sa sagot ni June Mar," said the San Miguel official. "Madami daw nag-text sa kanya na mga kaibigan, nanghihingi ng championship shirt ng Beermen. Di daw niya alam kung saan magpapagawa o paano hihingi sa office.
"Natawa rin si boss (SMB governor) Robert (Non) pero sinabi nya (Non) na siya na raw bahala magpagawa ng extra shirts at siya na rin daw magpapadala sa Cebu ngayong week," added the official.
That assurance brought the smile back to Fajardo's face.