It may be a new conference, but it’s still the same old, dominant June Mar Fajardo.
Matched up against the hulking Alex Stepheson, the Cebuano giant proved that he’s more than ready to battle as he carried San Miguel to a 99-92 victory over Meralco on Sunday.
The three-time PBA Most Valuable Player collected 24 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 36 minutes as he battled the imposing Bolts reinforcement.
The soft-spoken Fajardo admitted having a hard time battling against the 29-year-old Stepheson contrary to what his numbers showed.
“It was difficult. He was big and he was heavy,” Fajardo said. “My teammates helped me a lot because this isn’t about individuals, this is a team game.”
Stepheson also marveled at Fajardo saying, “The big dog is good.”
“He’s a really skilled man, really patient in the post, and really knows what he’s doing out there. He doesn’t waste a lot of energy. He’s very efficient.”
Thankful for the nice words Stepheson gave him, Fajardo acknowledges the huge help he gets from his experiences playing against quality imports as he looks forward to using the lessons in international play.
“This is really a huge help for me, and also for Japeth (Aguilar) because we’re the lone big men in Gilas,” he said. “But again, this is a team game. Whether in San Miguel or Gilas, we have to play as a team, follow our game plan and our coach, and trust each other.”