Fajardo stoked over playing in front of Cebuano crowd
Coach Leo Austria has hinted at the San Miguel Beermen down-shifting now that they’ve sealed a top-two finish in the PBA Philippine Cup.
But you can count on one person to still be on high gear when the Beermen hit the road to play the GlobalPort Batang Pier in Lapu-Lapu City on Saturday.
Three-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo looks forward to this game as a homecoming of sorts. Although Lapu-Lapu City is far from his hometown of Pinamungajan, it is less than 20-km from Cebu City, where the 6-foot-10 gained his popularity as a stalwart of the University of Cebu.
And it will be a special homecoming for Fajardo. Despite joining the league in 2012 and Cebu being a regular stop for PBA road games, this will be Fajardo’s first game in front of his fellow Cebuanos.
“First time ko kaya excited ulit ako makalaro doon at excited ako maglaro sa harap ng mga kapwa ko Cebuano (It’s my first time so I’m excited to play there and excited to play in front of my fellow Cebuanos),” he said.
The Beermen have played in Cebu before, but only in tuneup games. Now, Fajardo gets to give his hometown crowd a taste of real action—never mind if the Beermen have already accomplished their elimination round goal by winning seven straight games on the way to an 8-1 card.
And this early, the soft-spoken star is excited just thinking about the game.
“Nakaka-proud na maglaro ulit doon (I feel proud to play there again),” he said.
It’s going to be a homecoming for other Cebuanos, too.
Fajardo’s teammate and fellow UC alumnus Brian Heruela and GlobalPort big man and former University of the Visayas stud JR Quiñahan will also be on hand to play before their home crowd.
GlobalPort, currently at joint second with a 5-3 slate, is expected to go all out and seek an upset and inch closer to the last of the top two slots in the quarterfinals.
And the Batang Pier will be led by one of the most exciting players in the league today, which Fajardo feels will make the duel even more exciting for Cebu fans.
“Nandoon pa si Terrence (Romeo),” he quipped. “Sigurado ako na mage-enjoy yung mga Cebuano sa game na yun. (Terrence is also there. I’m sure the Cebuanos will enjoy that game.)”
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