Sunday marked the first time June Mar Fajardo appeared in public since suffering a fractured right tibia last February, which keeps him out for possibly the entire PBA season.
The San Miguel Beermen star showed up in the 44th annual Leo Awards to collect his sixth consecutive Most Valuable Player plum, and he did it in such a memorable fashion.
Fajardo made his way to the floor riding his electric scooter to get his trophy, and the crowd — as well as his peers — inside the SMART Araneta Coliseum showered him with adoration and cheers.
The 30-year-old even kidded, “Sana ‘di kayo magsawa sa ‘kin dito. Sana next year ulit,” drawing laughter.
That’s just the kind of positivity that Fajardo exudes, even while facing what could be the biggest challenge of his career.
Fajardo, of course, didn’t deny that it has been tough for him, since this is the first time that he suffered a major injury. Still, the 6-foot-10 center believes that it’s all part of God’s plan.
“Medyo nahihirapan pa ako. Pero positive lang ako. Alam ko na may plano si God para sa akin, sa pamilya ko. Thankful pa rin ako kay God na nangyari ‘yung injury ko,” the eight-time PBA champion expressed.
“Nakakalungkot lang, pero makakabalik pa naman ako.”
And of course, one of those which he draws strength from is his parents, Maritess and Bonifacio.
“Hindi ganoon kadali ‘yung pinagdaanan ko, ng pamilya ko simula noong nag-start pa lang ako sa basketball. Pero ‘pag nakikita ko ‘yung parents ko na masaya, nagiging worth it lahat,” he said.
“Alam kong proud sila sa akin. Alam kong hindi nasayang ‘yung sakripisyo nila sa akin tsaka sa kapatid ko.”