Former University of Cebu Webmaster and current rookie Petron Blaze Booster June Mar Fajardo is playing for his first ever Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) title after Petron eliminated defending Governor’s Cup titlist Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 3-1, in their best of five semifinal series. Petron will face sister team San Mig Coffee Mixers in a best of seven finals series.
The Petron Blaze Boosters has been a big disappointment in the past 2 conferences this year as they only finished 6th and 7th despite having one of the most loaded lineups in the PBA at the start of the season. The team is bannered by Fajardo who has been showing consistent improvement since his stint with the Smart Gilas. He is joined in the team by perennial MVP contender Arwind Santos, spitfire Alex Cabagnot, former Gilas I swingmen Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter, and veterans Ronald Tubid, Denok Miranda, Doug Kramer, and Danny Ildefonso. The team’s import Elijah Millsap.
Sister team San Mig Coffee is led by former MVP James Yap, scorer Peter June Simon, pinoy Sakuragi Marc Pingris, improving Allein Maliksi, Joe Devance, and balik-import Marcus Blakely. San Mig finished 3rd in both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup. The series will give the PBA, 4 different champions in the last four conferences.
June Mar Fajardo has been a vital cog in Petron’s resurgence this conference. He showed the PBA fans what to expect from him in the future by dominating the highly physical frontline of Rain of Shine by averaging 20.5 ppg 15.5 rpg in the first two games of the semifinals series where both games were won by Petron to give them a commanding 2-0 lead. Fajardo finished the 4-game series with averages of 14.75 ppg, 12.5 rpg, and an amazing 60% shooting from the field. With their series victory, Fajardo has a chance to continue his championship tradition. He has won titles in the CESAFI as well in his 1-season stint in the Asean Basketball League. After dominating Cebu in his UC days, he played for San Miguel Beermen in the ABL. He was also a member of the Smart Gilas who qualified to the FIBA World Cup after finishing 2nd in the FIBA Asia Championships.
It was a great year indeed for the gentle giant from Pinamungahan, Cebu and a title in his rookie season will be another feather in his cap. If he wins again, the sky is the limit for the Kraken.
- PBA semis: Petron beats Rain or Shine, leads series 2-0 (sports.inquirer.net)
- PBA: Red-hot Petron Blaze burns GlobalPort (sports.inquirer.net)
- Lassiter, Cabagnot push Boosters to Finals (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Fajardo powers Petron (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Who is the tallest Filipino? (gremilalexis.wordpress.com)
- Fajardo drafted No.1
- 2013 Cebuanos to watch