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June Mar Fajardo Chronicles: Kraken did Very Well in First PBA Finals Apperance

2 Nov

June Mar Fajardo was part of the Petron Blaze Boosters squad that battled sister team San Mig Coffee Mixers in a thrilling seven-game series for the 2013 PBA Governor’s Cup crown.  It was a disappointing outcome for the Petroniverse as the team succumbed to the hard-fighting Mixers. The series though, highlighted the emergence of June Mar Fajardo as the premier big man in the league. He played like an import in the whole series. He had several highlight reel dunks and he has shown the PBA nation some moves that were not done by any local big man who played in Asia’s first professional basketball league.  Pundits credited his experience with the Gilas and the coaching of former MVP Danny Ildefonso as the main factors for his much-improved performance.

It was a tough loss by June Mar who is nicknamed “The Kraken” in the PBA but he can always look back at his college career to be able to remember that titles are not automatic.  He lost several times to University of the Visayas and Greg Slaughter before becoming a legitimate champion at the University of Cebu.  If he keeps on improving his skills, PBA titles are expected every year as some of his peers are already scared at the prospects of playing against him.  Here are his numbers in his first ever PBA Finals appearance:

Rebounds
Game FG A FT A Points O D Total
1 5 9 2 2 12 2 6 8
2 5 10 6 13 16 5 9 14
3 9 11 1 3 19 3 6 9
4 9 14 2 8 20 9 17 26
5 8 11 7 11 23 8 8 16
6 6 10 9 14 21 5 9 14
7 8 14 4 12 20 8 7 15
50 79 31 63 131 40 62 102
FG % 63.3% FT% 49.2% 18.7 5.7 8.9 14.6

une Mar Fajardo averaged 18.7 points per game and 14.6 rebounds per game. He had 4 straight 20-10 games to finish the series.  He had an astonishing 20 points and 26 rebounds performance in Game 4.  He averaged an unbelievable 21 ppg and 17.8 rpg in the last 4 games of the series. He could have been the Finals MVP if Petron won Game 7.  Even if Petron lost, this blog believes that he was the MVP for that series.

One aspect that he can improve on would be his Free Throw shooting were he averaged a measly 49.2% in the series which was capped by an atrocious 4 of 12 performance in Game 7.  His Field Goal percentage though is mythical. He finished with a 63.3% rate in the series and from Game 3 to Game 7 he was hitting at a torrid 66.7% mark.  His height definitely helped as he was virtually unblockable and but in many instances he did not rely on his height alone as he showed his athleticism by jumping higher or sprinting for the score.

For a rookie center, Fajardo’s performance was outstanding.  The baton that was passed from Mon Fernandez to Abet Guidaben to Benjie Paras and to Asi Taulava could be on his hands right now. What is scary with him is that there is a lot of room for improvement. His development will not only be good for Petron and the PBA but also for the Philippine National team.  Imagine if the Philippines will have the most feared front lines in Asia then we will witness another golden age of Philippine Basketball in our lifetime.  Fajardo will be a force to reckoned with in the upcoming season and it will be interesting to see if the Fajardo vs. Slaughter rivalry will materialize in the big stage.

Fajardo Dunks! (from Inquirer)

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One Response to “June Mar Fajardo Chronicles: Kraken did Very Well in First PBA Finals Apperance”

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  1. PBA Season 39: Fajardo is MVP while Slaughter bags ROY | Cebu Live! - July 6, 2014

    […] June Mar Fajardo Chronicles: Kraken did Very Well in First PBA Finals Apperance […]

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