In June Mar Fajardo’s collection, one can find five Most Valuable Player trophies, three Finals MVP plums, and eight Best Player of the Conference plaques.
But there’s one thing missing: A gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games.
The PBA’s reigning five-time MVP is a veteran internationalist already, having represented the Philippines in various global tourneys such as the FIBA World Cup, which he has done twice.
But Fajardo hasn’t experienced the SEA Games. So now that he’s part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the biennial meet held here in Manila, the Cebuano star is looking to finally win one.
“Gusto ko makuha itong SEA Games kasi ‘di pa ako nakakakuha ng ginto sa SEA Games,” he said.
Gilas played its second game Friday versus Vietnam. And Fajardo showed how he really wants to snag gold.
The 6-foot-10 slotman was a force to be reckoned with inside, leaving their foes looking for answers. He racked up 23 points and 12 rebounds plus an assist, a steal, and a block in over 15 minutes.
The Filipino dribblers won by 41 points, 110-69 — this, after dealing Singapore a 52-point mauling last Wednesday.
“Sabi ni coach (Tim Cone), kailangan lang maging agresibo at mag-seal lang ng mag-seal sa basket. Wala naman silang ganoong kalaki, so seal lang ng seal,” said Fajardo of his outing.
“‘Di man ako mapasahan ng bola, at least makakakuha ako ng rebounds. ‘Yun ang nangyari.”