JUNE Mar Fajardo was the man of the hour for San Miguel in the title-clinching Game Five of the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
But even though he made his monster game of 42 points and 20 rebounds look easy, Fajardo said he still can’t believe how the Beermen were able to stave off the Hotshots despite being down by as many as 23 points in the contest.
In doing so, the usually reserved Fajardo made a rare show of emotion during Game Five.
“Emotional lang kasi hindi namin inakala na makakabawi kami at makuha namin ‘yung panalo na ‘to. Pero biniyayaan kami,” said Fajardo.
Fajardo spearheaded the Beermen’s comeback, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter before taking over once again in the second overtime where he tallied eight points.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria said he was no longer surprised with the performance of Fajardo.
“Ever since kilala ko si June Mar, pag tinatanong namin ‘yan, ano mananalo ba tayo, sasabihin niya, oo mananalo tayo. And you can see it naman. That’s the sign na he wants the championship,” said Austria.
Fajardo said he expected a tough game from the Hotshots as they built 23-point lead.
“Hindi basta basta makukuha ‘yung championship eh. Binigay namin ‘yung best namin. ‘Yun ang pinakabest namin nung second half. Thankful kami na nakuha namin,” said the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference.
Even though he won the Finals MVP, Fajardo offered his recent mint to his teammates. During the plaque presentation of the award, Fajardo asked Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos to also raise his plum.
It was really a team effort for the Beermen, according to Fajardo.
“Dinededicate ko sa first five at lahat na ng teammates ko,” he said.