If it can sustain the dominant form it asserted anew in the Philippine Cup, powerhouse San Miguel Beer has the potential to register the franchise’s second PBA Grand Slam, a feat it first achieved under then coach Norman Black in 1989.
Most of that dream feat, however, should be determined with how prized center June Mar Fajardo, the reigning three-time MVP, deals with bigger and stronger foreign rivals starting in the import-laced Commissioner’s Cup.
And Star veteran Marc Pingris feels the Beermen are more than capable of living up to high expectations—as long as the 6-foot-10 Fajardo stays healthy and consistent on both ends.
“Kahit sinong player ngayon dito sa PBA, wala talagang makaka-stop kay June Mar. ‘Wag naman sana, pero tanging injury na lang ang makakakapigil sa kanya,” admitted the 6-foot-4 Pingris about Fajardo, one of his closest buddies outside of his Hotshots’ family.
More than his physique and skill set, Fajardo’s sustained dedication to further improve his craft has been the biggest reason behind his—and SMB’s dominance—since Pingris and the Hotshots (then known as the San Mig Coffe Mixers) completed a Grand Slam feat in 2014.
“Si June Mar, napakagaling na player—may height, may galaw, tapos napaka-humble pa. Kaya siguro pinagpapala rin siya. Talagang pinaghihirapan rin naman niya ‘yun,” said Pingris, who also served as one of Fajardo’s mentors during their stint with Gilas Pilipinas national team.
“Kahit nung naglalaro pa lang kami ni June Mar sa Gilas, sinasabi ko na talaga sa mga reporters na si June Mar ang susunod na Haddadi sa Pilipnas. Nagkakatotoo talaga kasi nakikita ko kung paano niya pagtrabahuhan ‘yun.”
Read more at: Fox Sports Asia