BEHIND every successful man is a supportive woman, they say. And that seems to be the case for PBA superstar June Mar Fajardo and girlfriend Aerieal Patnongon.
Patnongon is a fixture in San Miguel Beermen's games in the PBA, ever supportive of his boyfriend who has become the most dominant player in Asia's first play-for-pay league, reaping three straight MVP awards among other honors in just his fifth year.
This time, though, it's Patnongon who will be needing the support when she returns to the volleyball stage after a long layoff.
Patnongon will play alongside volleyball star Alyssa Valdez for the Creamline Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference which opens over a week from now.
Fajardo's support will go a long way, Aerieal admitted.
"Siyempre iba pag nandyan siya kasi inspired ka," she said.
Fajardo will likely miss her first game against the Perlas Spikers as it will coincide with the PBA All-Star festivities in Cebu on April 30 where the 6-10 San Miguel slotman will be suiting up. But she doesn't mind.
Patnongon stressed she's not requiring her beau to watch all her games.
"But of course, ayoko naman i-pressure na pumunta siya every game kasi I know he has other committments," the six-foot spiker said.
"Mabo-bore lang siya, ayoko mag-ask kasi ayoko ma-reject," she added in jest.
Nonetheless, the former Ateneo Lady Eagles mainstay is itching to showcase her volleyball skills anew after being away from the sport she really loves for two years.
"Super excited kasi I've been away from the volleyball spotlight for two years, kahit manood ng games di ako nakakanood," she said.
"Kaya excited ako to see familiar faces, familiar moves pati yung mga calls ng referees, excited na ako makita kasi makaka-relate na ako," Patnongon added. "Unlike sa baskteball na recently ko lang naintindihan yung mga tawag kaya di ako maka-relate before."