June Mar Fajardo cements place among PBA all-time greats with record fourth MVP award
June Mar Fajardo savors a fourth successive PBA MVP award. Jerome Ascano

JUNE Mar Fajardo went through the motions on Friday night and claimed an award that was long conceded to him.

The San Miguel Beer cornerstone cemented his place among the all-time greats as he bagged his fourth straight PBA MVP award during the Leo Awards before Game Four of the Governors’ Cup Finals.

Fajardo, 27, extended his record of successive MVP victories as he joined legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio as the only four-time winners of the league's highest individual honor.

“Hindi ko naman in-expect na aabot sa ganito,” Fajardo insisted in the post-awards conference.

“Thankful ako sa mga teammates ko, sa mga coaches ko, hindi ko naman makukuha ‘to kung hindi dahil sa kanila,” he added.

Fajardo, who amassed 2,886 points from stats and votes from the media, players, and the league, led the Mythical Five that also features SMB teammates Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos, as well as Ginebra slotman Japeth Aguilar.

Ross, though, was named Most Improved Player of the Year over Meralco playmaker Baser Amer.

“Patunay yun na hindi lang isang tao ang gumagawa San Miguel, kundi lahat kami,” Fajardo said.

A part of Fajardo, though, was hardly celebratory as the Beermen fell short of their objective this season of winning the second grand slam of the franchise.

“Goal namin na mag-champion kami sa conference na ’to, pero hindi nangyari,” Fajardo said. “Pero thankful pa rin ako.”

“May next year pa naman,” the 6-foot-10 Cebuano was quick to add.

Barangay Ginebra, which denied the Beermen of their lofty bid after dispatching them in the quarterfinals, has two players in the Mythical Second team in LA Tenorio and Joe Devance, who joined Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams of TNT KaTropa and Cliff Hodge of Meralco.

Another TNT player took the spotlight as Roger Pogoy edged Matthew Wright of Phoenix for the Rookie of the Year award.

It was a hat-trick of awards for Fajardo on Friday night as he also became part of the All-Defensive Team that likewise features Aguilar, Ross, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, and Jio Jalalon of Star.

Norwood opened the night by winning the Sportsmanship Award.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos