JUNE Mar Fajardo’s first order of business when he reported for duty at San Miguel Beer was to visit his physiotherapists.
The 6-foot-10 PBA MVP is coming off a busy offseason, serving as Gilas Pilipinas’ top back-up center during the Fiba World Cup in Spain as well as the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Although he banged bodies with veteran NBA big men like Luis Scola and Walter Herrmann of Argentina, former Petron teammate and Puerto Rico forward Renaldo Balkman, as well as Croatian center Ante Tomic in the world meet, Fajardo said play in the PBA is far more physical.
“Kung banggaan lang, mas physical tayo sa PBA, kasi sa Fiba, mahigpit ang hand-check dun,” Fajardo told Spin.ph on Monday.
Fajardo admitted coming back from the Asian Games with a painful knee, which he sustained during Gilas’ preliminary round match against eventual silver medalist Iran and aggravated during the quarterfinal round match against eventual champion South Korea.
Fajardo said he has made a conscious effort to take good care of his knees and ankles by working with physiotherapists at the Sante Impact System in Ortigas.
“May regular therapy ako kasi malaking tulong yung attention ng mga PTs, kailangan ko mag-ingat, lalo na ang tuhod ko saka ankles, basta yung sa lower (body) importante din,” said the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player.
The soft-spoken Cebuano big man credits physiotherapists led by the San Miguel’s in-house PT Gerald Tenorio, as well as Jedryck Quitzon, Albert Matic of Sante Impact System for ensuring his legs, knees and ankles are well taken care of.
The 24-year-old San Miguel slotman is hoping for a more solid run this time after having trouble last season with an MCL sprain on his knee and sprained ankle.
“Para sa akin, mahalaga yung strengthening ng tuhod ko,” he added.
Fajardo scored 19 points in his first preseason game with San Miguel, which ended in an 83-83 standoff with Meralco last Saturday at the Blue Eagle gym in Ateneo.