Aerieal Patnongon a ringside inspiration as boyfriend June Mar Fajardo plays out his best in SMB win over Globalport
June Mar Fajardo gives girlfriend Aerieal Patnongon a kiss on the cheek following San Miguel's win over Globalport. Czeasar Dancel

LOVE was in the air Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as outgoing Ateneo volleyball player Aerieal Patnongon openly cheered and supported inspired boyfriend June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel.

Patnongon, a member of back-to-back UAAP women’s volleyball champion Lady Eagles, was one interested spectator at the ringside section of the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Beermen’s 106-94 win over Globalport.

“Kinakabahan ako siyempre.  Pero nandun din yung kagustuhan ko na manalo sila (Beermen). Binigay din naman ni June Mar lahat saka mga teammates niya,” Patnongon told sports scribes after the game.

The 22-year-old Ateneo blocker said she watched several games of Fajardo on television, but admitted it was a different experience altogether to see the reigning league MVP play in the flesh.

“Napapanuod ko naman siya (Fajardo) sa TV, tapos ngayon live,” she said.

“Iba pala pag live, sobrang idol ko talaga siya,” Patnongon chuckled.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo admitted being motivated to play his best as the love of his life watched him in the flesh.

“Oo nga (inspired). Nandyan ang girlfriend ko,” the Cebuano big man said smiling.

“First time (niya manuod). Inaya ko lang siya manuod, pumayag naman siya.”

Fajardo earned Best Player of the Game honors following his 31-point,19-rebound effort, though the Beermen still fell short of the playoffs spot due to an inferior quotient despite the win.

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