JUNE Mar Fajardo is naturally-driven, but he said the constant motivation from the San Miguel Beer coaches has enabled him to push himself further.
The result: MVP-like performances in the season-ending conference with averages of 21.8 points and 17.1 rebounds — both new PBA career-high stats — to go along with 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks in the Beermen’s first six games in the PBA Governor’s Cup.
“Sinasabi naman yun ng coach (Todd Purves and Biboy Ravanes) na dapat pag-start pa lang ng game, tataas namin yung intensity. So, basta yun lang gagawin ko, mag-rebound at putback lang,” said the soft-spoken San Miguel big man.
On Tuesday, the 6-foot-10 Fajardo hit a new career-high with 27 rebounds, while scoring a personal conference-best 26 points to help San Miguel mount a furious second-half rally en route to a 102-99 victory over GlobalPort.
The 24-year-old slotman’s 27 rebounds was just two shy of the all-time single-rebounding record registered by Marcelo Simbulan of 7-Up during the PBA’s maiden season in 1975.
But carving his place in the PBA record books is farthest on Fajardo’s mind at this point. Neither is he thinking about individual awards, even though the Cebuano big man currently sits atop the MVP statistical race.
With the Beermen in solo second spot with their 4-2 win-loss record, his focus is on winning a championship.
“Basta go hard lang ako sa ilalim, seal lang ng seal. Tapos ganun din sa sa rebound, go hard lang din,” he said ahead of a match-up against Meralco on Saturday in Cagayan de Oro City.