THE opening match of the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference was emotional enough, but it got even more intense once Kim Fajardo came out of her shell.
The 22-year-old F2 Logistics playmaker spiced up the game between her team and Cignal when she caught fire late in the game won by the Cargo Movers, 25-12, 23-25, 25-20, 25-11 on Saturday.
The former La Salle captain bucked a soft start with two crowd-pleasing plays, when she won a joust against NCAA best blocker Jeanette Panaga of St. Benilde, before capping her heroics by blocking Mela Tunay, which she highlighted with a stare down to the delight of the jampacked packed San Juan Arena.
But there was no more of Fajardo’s on-court swag moments after a handful of sportswriters caught up with her outside the dugout just after the match.
“Hindi ko siya talaga napapansin (na iba ang hugot ko ngayon) kasi noong morning, bago mag-game, masakit ang ulo ko. Kaya sinabi ko (sa sarili ko) na kailangan ko maglaro ng maayos,” she related.
Although not feeling really well, her teammates’ energy especially that of Aby Marano pushed her to go hard during the game.
“‘Yung mga teammates ko (ang nag-motivate sa akin) kasi syempre, aaminin ko naman, pressured ako kasi ‘yung mga teammates ko.
“Kasi sa La Salle kaya ko mag-command, mas madali kasi mas bata. Eh ito ngayon seniors ko, nahihiya ako sa kanila na magsabi, ‘ate ganito’, pero kasi kailangan eh,” she said.
“Oo naman, (naramdaman ko na pinaglalaban nila ako) lalo na siya (Aby). Sabi niya sa akin, P2,000 kasi P500 kada block. Kasi ganoon naman talaga, pag nakikita mo ‘yung teammate mo na sobrang pakamatay sa bola, tatamlay ka?,” she asked.
When talk finally shifted on her block on Tunay and her won joust against Panaga, Fajardo tried to elude the topic and instead, asked if she could excuse herself from the interview.
“Uy, grabe hindi. Ganoon lang talaga ko, dala lang ng laro,” she said. “Tama na ‘yan, ok na ‘yun!”