The top rookie pick finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, and a block in a solid performance that caught the fancy of the big men of san Mig Coffee
“Hindi lahat ng kasing-laki niya, pwede maglaro ng kagaya ng kay Fajardo,” San Mig Coffee’s All-Star forward Marc Pingris told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview. “Malaki ang potential niya, and sa tingin ko in two or three years, kaya nya mag-dominate sa PBA.”
Rafi Reavis, who was tasked to help out Yancy de Ocampo in defending Fajardo, tried to stop the 6-foot-10 pride of University of Cebu, but didn’t have much success.
“I wish he’s playing with us,” said Reavis, who was amazed by the potential of Fajardo.
Even four-time Most Valuable Player Alvin Patrimonio, who now serves as San Mig Coffee team manager, took notice of Fajardo’s performance.
“He has the size, good hands, decent shooting and is able to seal efficiently. June Mar Fajardo is the look of the future,” said Patrimonio.
Fajardo’s teammates said it’s only a glimpse of things to come from the Cebuano giant.
“That’s what we’re waiting for from him,” said Pena. “We just have to rock him a bit in practice in able for him to perform better.”
Jay Washington, who visibly egged on Fajardo to be more agressive during one sequence in the fourth quarter, is a believer.
“When we drafted him, I told Boss Robert (Non) that this man could easily become the best center in the PBA. Easily,” said Washington. “What he did tonight was just hustle plays and look at the results. We wanted him to be more aggressive and wanted to see his full potential.”
Washington said he hasn’t seen anyone with Fajardo’s skillset.
“You just caught a glimpse of what he can do in the PBA. We expect to see more of that. Honestly, I don’t see a Filipino player of that size who can play just like what Fajardo did. He’s definitely the future of the PBA.”
Offseason training with Hakeem Olajuwon planned for June Mar FajardoThe Petron Blaze Boosters have major plans for top overall pick June Mar Fajardo.
San Miguel Corporation executive Noli Eala told InterAKTV that the company is planning to send the Cebuano giant to the United States for offseason training.
And if plans don’t miscarry, Fajardo might find himself training under NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the greatest to ever play the game.
“My contact in the US is helping me arrange sessions with top coaches. I asked for Hakeem’s camp,” wrote Eala in a text message.
After his successful playing career, Olajuwon has become a much sought-after tutor for top NBA players looking to develop skills in the post. Over the past few years, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James have asked for Olajuwon’s tutelage in the NBA offseason.
Eala said the company had actually intended for Fajardo to train abroad earlier.
“He was supposed to start in Pete Newell Big Man’s Camp in Hawaii, but we lacked time. So, we’re planning ahead for next season,” said Eala.
According to Eala, SMC management is willing to invest on Fajardo as they see him as the future of Philippine basketball.