LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS
As they prepare for PBA Finals clash, Cebuano big men Fajardo, Slaughter reminisce 2009 Cesafi seniors basketball championship showdown
The 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, which starts on Friday, will feature a matchup of gigantic proportions as Cebuanos Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra and June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel face off for the first time in a championship showdown since 2009.
All eyes will be on the two behemoths, who clashed for all the marbles in the 2009 Cesafi Finals in Cebu.
In that best-of-five series, Slaughter and the rest of the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers won over Fajardo’s University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, 3-1. The two centers were eventually named co-MVPs of the tournament.
Slaughter, after helping the Kings finish off Rain or Shine to book a finals slot opposite the Beermen, could not help but feel nostalgic when realizing who his opponent in the next round would be.
“Anytime you can play in the finals, it’s special. This matchup makes me reminisce of the good old days of Cebu,” said the 7-foot big man who took Cebu by storm when he arrived in UV in 2006 from Ohio.
Fajardo, on the other hand, has an axe to grind as he distinctly remembers that finals loss, nine years after it happened.
“The last time nag-abot kami sa Cebu, natalo kami. So sana ngayon, kami na naman ang manalo,” said the pride of Pinamungajan during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals press conference yesterday afternoon. (The last time we played against each other in Cebu, we lost. So hopefully this time, we’ll win.)
Fajardo has had a more successful PBA stint so far, winning four Most Valuable Player awards and six championship titles since joining the league in 2012.
“Happy ko na nakaabot mi pareho ni Greg sa Finals ug healthy mi pareho. For sure, nindot ni nga series,” Fajardo added. (I’m happy both Greg and I are in the Finals and that we’re both healthy. For sure, this will be a great series.)
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