What should have been a triumphant return went otherwise.
June Mar Fajardo will not get to play more in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup as his San Miguel Beermen were booted out by familiar foes Alaska Aces in the quarterfinals, Wednesday night.
Fajardo has just recently returned to the Beermen and is still regaining his old form, as he is recovering from the stress fracture in his shin, an injury that was a result of wear-and-tear.
“Kakabalik ko nga lang tapos ayun na-eliminate kami,” rued the reigning, four-time league Most Valuable Player, who had six points and seven rebounds in over 22 minutes of playing time.
Many expected San Miguel to go deep into the playoffs, as the Beermen hit strides in the eliminations – they went on a four-game winning streak at one point to hike their record from 2-4.
It was also expected that they would blow the Aces’ twice-to-beat advantage, like when the Beermen overcame Alaska back in the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals after they came back from 0-3 down.
But odds don’t always go in their favor.
“Nakakalungkot dahil hindi ito yung ine-expect namin na ending.
“Pero, credit sa Alaska dahil maganda yung depensa nila at overall maganda yung nilaro nila,” the 28-year-old said. “Kailangan namin mag-bounce back next conference.”
The star center from Pinamungajan, Cebu may have failed to regain his form for the Beermen in the season-ending tilt, but it will be of good use once he gets it back with Gilas Pilipinas.
Fajardo has been listed in the 20-man pool for the fifth window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, along with bigs such as Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and Christian Standhardinger.
So that’s what Fajardo’s looking forward to.
“Sana, sana, sana. Wino-work out ko yun,” he said. “Excited ako na makasama sa pool ngayon. Ayun, sana maganda kalalabasan ng laro. Sana maipanalo natin mga games natin. Nae-excite ako.
“Sino ba ayaw na maging part sa Gilas?”
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