EVEN on the night he accomplished another individual milestone, June mar Fajardo still had the welfare of his San Miguel Beer team in mind.
As the 29-year-old Fajardo lifted yet another Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award, the gentle giant made i clear winning the PBA Philippine Cup championship for the fifth straight time remains his ultimate goal.
If he succeeds, it’s the entire team that gets to bask in the glory.
“Maraming championship sana para mas masaya,” said Fajardo in his familiar baritone voice. “Yun ang gusto namin, yung championship para happy lahat.”
Fajardo bested three NorthPort players in Sean Anthony, Stanley Pringle, and Mo Tautuaa, along with TnT Katropa’s Roger Pogoy in winning the All-Filipino BPC award for a record sixth straight time.
Fajardo has now won a total of eight BPC trophies and still counting, judging from the way he’s been dominating the league the past seven years.
But as he repeatedly said, “hindi yun ang goal ko.”
“Kung maipapanalo, siyempre bakit naman hindi,” he said. “Pero championship, championship muna tayo.”
He moved a step in that direction on Wednesday night when he torched the Hotshots for 31 points on an impressive 13-of-14 shooting, while adding 14 rebounds to tow the defending champions to a 114-98 win over Magnolia in Game 4 of the finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Again, Fajardo said the numbers won’t be what these were if not for his teammates and the work of the coaching staff.
“Credit din sa management, sa coaching staff namin, sa mga teammates ko kasi hindi ko naman makukuha ito kung hindi dahil sa kanila,” he said.
“Sila coach 'yung nagbibigay ng plays para sa akin, yung mga teammates ko ang nagki-create para mabakante ako, mabigyan ako ng bola at maka-score ako. So credit sa kanila.”
The win tied the finals at two-game apiece as the series has now been reduced to a best-of-three affair.
And Fajardo knows the Beermen can retain the title not for his work alone, but by the entire team.
“Alam din naman namin na kaya naing makuha yun basta sundin lang naming yung game plan and then, maglaro kami as a team,” said the Cebuano native.