June Mar Fajardo goes against SMB medical staff's wishes, suits up vs Mahindra
June Mar Fajardo went against the SMB medical staff's wishes and suited up in the Binan game against the Mahindra Enforcers. Dante Peralta

BIÑAN, Laguna – June Mar Fajardo couldn’t resist the itch to play for San Miguel Beer in its opening game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday against Mahindra at the Alonte Sports Arena.

Supposedly in the middle of a three-week break to let a knee injury heal completely, the SMB superstar insisted on playing against the Enforcers in a commendable effort that nonetheless went for naught as the Beermen lost, 102-96.

“Syempre, excited ako maglaro kasi bagong conference eh,” Fajardo said in short chat with Spin.ph after the game.

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Fajardo was so eager to play that he actually defied their physical therapist’s recommendation for him to rest.

“Ayaw nung PT, but he really wanted to play,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “Hindi ko dapat siya palalaruin, but he really wanted to play. At least hindi ko binabad.”

As some sort of compromise, Austria limited Fajardo's appearance on the floor. He played 23 minutes and registered eight points and four boards.

He vowed to bounce back in the next game.

“Gumawa si Aldrech (Ramos) tsaka crucial yung tatlong sunod na tres ni KG (Canaleta),” the reigning MVP said. “Bounce back na lang kami.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos