Battling through own doubts after injury, Fajardo grateful for another BPC award

Many thought that June Mar Fajardo will never be the same again after suffering an open fracture on his right tibia a few years back.

June Mar Fajardo (PBA Images)

After all, most players who suffered such gruesome setbacks failed to find their way back to their best forms. And for the less fortunate, it meant a slow and painful end to their careers.

But the Cebuano gentle giant was built differently. As much as he towered over his defenders and powered through double and triple teams, he overcame the long process of his recovery and regained his old, dominant ways that most people didn’t think he would reach again, including himself.

“Nag-cross sa isip ko yun nung start. Kailangan ko i-prove sa sarili na di ako tatalunin ng injury ko so ayun good thing na nalampasan ko yun,” said Fajardo.

And he did.

On Sunday night, Aug. 28, Fajardo hoisted another Best Player of the Conference award in a record-extending fashion. It was just like the first among his long list of accolades, except that he had more people to thank, outside his teammates especially those who helped him to return to his best shape.

“Thankful ako kay God sa mga teammates ko sa management, kina Doc Canlas sa lahat, Dra. Saligumba, sila yung isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ako nakalaro ulit,” said Fajardo.

“Thankful pala ako sa Grindhouse kay Aldo Panlilio tinulungan nila ako nung off season. Malaking tulong iyon sa akin thankful ako sa kanila sa mga teammates ko sa mga nagtitiwala sa akin,” he added.

The six-time MVP averaged 21.33 points, 17 rebounds, 2.33 assists, and 1.67 blocks throughout the conference, his best numbers since returning from injury in 2021.

Fajardo, though, just like what he’s been saying after every award, the focus remains on winning the championship.

“Hindi yun yung goal ko hindi yun yung goal ko para sa team, yung goal ko yung championship,” added Fajardo who had a bittersweet feeling as his supposed celebration was foiled by a 100–87 loss to TNT, resetting the Finals series on equal footing and to a virtual best-of-three affair.

“Alam namin na malakas yung TNT. Good thing series ‘to. Na-reduce yung series sa best-of-three, may dalawang araw kami para mag regroup. Tingnan namin ano ‘yung pwede namin iadjust, kailangan namin makabounce back sa game.”

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