IF first love never dies, so does first heartbreak.
June Mar Fajardo is eager to face a Magnolia side that dealt him his first PBA finals agony as he tries to lead San Miguel Beer to an unprecedented fourth straight Philippine Cup championship starting in Game One on Friday night.
The four-time reigning MVP still remembers the pain he felt from the first time he was denied in a title series, in the 2013 Governors’ Cup Finals against Magnolia, then known as San Mig Coffee.
Then a promising rookie, Fajardo fell short in his finals debut as his SMB team, then known as Petron Blaze and led by Elijah Millsap, lost to a Mixers’ side bannered by Marqus Blakely in seven games, marking the start of the Purefoods franchise’s dominant run of four straight championships.
Fajardo, who sported short blonde hair that time, was so devastated that the 6-foot-10 giant was left in tears as he broke his personal computer in anger.
“Hindi ko talaga makakalimutan nung rookie year ko, Magnolia ang first championship heartbreak ko,” Fajardo began when he took his turn in the finals conference at Sambokojin Eastwood on Wednesday. “Pinaiyak nila ako, binasag ko ang PC ko, rookie year ko.”
“Sobrang umiyak talaga ako. Nakita ng parents ko na umiyak ako,” the Cebuano giant added.
Now he wants payback.
“Ito na siguro yung time na makabawi ako,” he continued. “Kailangan ko mag-champion para makabili ako ng bagong PC.”
Fajardo, though, would’ve loved to exact payback in the presence of close pal Marc Pingris, who, however, can’t play due to an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury he suffered in the semifinals against NLEX.
“Before siya na-injure, nag-usap kami na sana tayo mag-abot sa Finals kasi sisingilin na kita sa utang mo,” Fajardo related. “Tumawa nga siya, oo sige, gagawin namin lahat para magkalaban tayo sa Finals. Tapos yun, unfortunate na na-injure siya.”
“Pero ipapanalo parin namin to kahit wala siya,” he added. “Sisingilin ko siya sa online game, Mobile Legends.”
And before he can play games, he must first buy a new, long-overdue PC.
“Oo bibili ako, babae’t lalaki para dadami,” Fajardo said with a smile. “Kasi binasag ko yung PC ko nung natalo ako sa Magnolia, sobrang sama ng loob. Tapos ngayon, sana makabili ako ng bago.”