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    Rookie Fajardo credits his 'DI' for improved play

    Feb 21, 2013

    JUNE Mar Fajardo credits the marked improvement in his performances in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup to his 'DI.'

    Nope, not a dance instructor but teammate Danny Ildefonso.

    The top pick overall in this year's PBA rookie draft has been putting in the extra work in practice with one-on-one sessions with two-time MVP Ildefonso, who has taken on the role of mentor to Fajardo while awaiting the schedule of his surgery for an oft-injured shoulder.

    “Nag-eextra practice ako, kasi tinuturuan ako ni DI,” Fajardo told Spin.ph, referring to Ildefonso as his personal “shooting coach."

    The extra practice have been showing in the performances of the 6-9 pride of Pinamungahan, Cebu, who has raised his averages to 11.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in four games with the Boosters in a conference that features imports of unlimited height.

    Fajardo was particularly impressive in Wednesday night's 88-86 Petron win over Meralco, where he finished with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds to go with three blocks to earn Player of the Game honors.

    Fajardo said helping Petron win a PBA championship is his foremost mission this season, the reason he maximizes his 20 minutes per game average in the mid-season conference.

    “Gusto ko maranasan yung mag-champion kami ngayong taon," he said. "Kaya kailangan talaga hard work at mag-tiyaga lang sa practice.”

    With energetic import Renaldo Balkman injecting the much-needed energy to a talented but underachieving team, Fajardo said his main task this conference is to provide an intimidating presence inside the paint.

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    “Depensa talaga ang tinututukan ko. Last conference kasi medyo mabagal ang reaction ko sa depensa. Pero malaking tulong sa akin si Balkman. Magaling talaga siya,” said the former University of Cebu star.

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