By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter
ON Sunday San Miguel Beermen star June Mar Fajardo made history by becoming the Philippine Basketball Association’s first-ever five-time most valuable player. It is an achievement that he said he is very grateful for and proud of as it is a product of a wonderful journey he got to share with so many people.
Beating out Northport Batang Pier’s Stanley Pringle in a tight two-way race for the top individual award, Cebu native Fajardo moved past PBA legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio in a tie for most league MVPs at four.
After receiving his fifth consecutive MVP award, Mr. Fajardo could not help but look back at the journey he has had to PBA greatness in awe.
He shared he has certainly come far from his formative days in basketball of playing pickup games in Cebu to trying his luck in collegiate hoops in the province to now in the PBA.
Mr. Fajardo underscored that he would not be where he is right now if not for the people that helped him along the way, including his parents and brother who have supported him right from the very start and with whom he was happy to share the achievement.
“Who would have thought that I would be able to break the record for MVPs in the PBA? I, myself, did not expect this. I could not believe I was able to achieve this record for most MVPs in the league,” Mr. Fajardo shared in Filipino in meeting members of media after the annual PBA Leo Awards on Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“This was made all the more special because my parents are here with me. Unfortunately my brother is not here because of work. I share this with them, my parents, because they are my inspiration for all the hard work they did for us. I want to make them happy with all my achievements because I believe that is the best feeling there is. To make your parents proud,” he added.
Twenty-nine-year-old Fajardo went on to say that his fifth PBA MVP award would only serve to push him more to improve his game just as he downplayed the idea of him being the greatest of all time in the local professional league.
“I do not want to be content with this latest achievement. I’m proud of this, of course, but there are still things I need to improve on and want more to achieve,” Mr. Fajardo said.
“I’m just happy to be in the conversation of the greatest of all time but I am not claiming that title. I believe that the MVP is not the basis for being the greatest ever but more of what one has contributed to the league. There are many who came before me and have done a lot. They are all legends and greats. I still have a long way to go. I’m only on my seventh year in the PBA,” he added.
In winning the MVP award for Season 43 of the PBA, Mr. Fajardo rode on season averages of 20.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, and 1.2 bpg in 47 outings last year that also saw him help the Beermen to two finals appearances and one title.
Mr. Fajardo and the Beermen are set to make their 2019 Philippine Cup debut on Jan. 18 against the Columbian Dyip.