HE is considered the most dominant big man in the pro league today, but San Miguel sophomore June Mar Fajardo admits he sees a threat looming just ahead.
His name? Greg Slaughter.
The 6-foot-9 Fajardo admitted the Ginebra rookie usually gives him a hard time during games, perhaps because he is the only Filipino rival he has faced who stand taller than him.
No wonder the Pinamungahan, Cebu native considers his provincemate his biggest rival in more ways than one.
“Naiilang talaga ako na kalaban at tumira sa harap ni Greg. Ang laki kasi eh. Isa talaga siya sa pinakamatangkad (sa locals). Seven footer eh,” said Fajardo, the 2012 top pick overall.
“Siya ang isa talaga sa biggest threats ko. Kasi malaki siya saka may galaw,” added the San Miguel star.
The soft-spoken giant also bared how he lost most of his head-to-head duels with Slaughter during their college days in Cebu, where the Slaughter’s University of the Visayas dominated Fajardo’s University of Cebu.
“Oo, lagi nga silang nanalo sa amin noon,” bared Fajardo.
Now that rivalry enters a new phase when Fajardo and Slaughter clash for the first time in the PBA after two previous encounters failed to push through because of injuries to the San Miguel big man.
Fajardo will be playing for Gilas Pilipinas while Slaughter will banner the PBA All Stars Selection in the highlight of this year’s All-Star Weekend at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
“Oo, sana nga matuloy na,” said the 23-year-old Fajardo. “Sana wala nang ma-injure sa amin, para malaro namin ang game. Dami rin nag-aabang."
Asked if he is out to prove something in his maiden showdown with Slaughter, Fajardo said all he wants is to give fans an entertaining game.
"Basta ako maglalaro na lang," he said. "Sana maganda 'yung maging game namin, at maganda ipakita namin pareho para sumaya ang crowd."