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Fajardo makes history with fourth straight MVP as Pogoy wins Rookie of the Year

Junemar Fajardo sat with his latest hardwares as he made histroy after winning his fourth straight MVP Award.

By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CIY--Junemar Fajardo fixed himself in legendary status after winning his fourth Most Valuable Player award while RR Pogoy bagged the top honors for rookies as both players led the names of winners in this year’s PBA Leo Awards at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

The 27-year old Fajardo sealed his place in history as he turned to be only the third player in the 42 years of the league to win the said number of MVP awards, joining greats Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.

“Hindi ko naman in-expect na aabot sa ganito,” said Fajardo, who, as with every award he has won, once again deflected the credit to his team.

"Thankful ako sa mga teammates ko, sa mga coaches ko. Hindi ko naman makukuha 'to kung hindi dahil sa kanila."

To make the feat even more historic, the SMB big man becomes only the first player to have won the coveted plum in four straight years.

He garnered a total of 2,886 points after leading the statistical department by a mile plus the accumulated votes from the players, media and the league itself, eclipsing teammates Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.

Proving how much of a loaded team San Miguel is, the three MVP nominees are joined by fellow Beerman Arwind Santos to congest the league's Mythical First Team as only Japeth Aguilar was the lone non-SMB player to be named in the said award.

That did not even stop there.

Fajardo and Ross were also hailed as members of the All-Defensive Team along with Gabe Norwood, Jio Jalalon and Aguilar.

The 6'1 SMB starting guard had his own share of the limelight as he capped his sensational season by winning the Most Improved Player as well.

With his reliable wards also reaping the fruits of their individual hardwork, the now four-time reigning MVP could not be any more proud.

"Patunay 'yon na hindi lang isang tao ang gumagawa sa San Miguel, kundi lahat kami," Fajardo added.

Meanwhile, TNT’s Pogoy now started to carve out his imprint after just a season in the league.

He tallied a total of 2,203 points to edge out fellow Gilas youngsters Jalalon and Matthew Wright to bag the Rookie of the Year Award.

Already regarded as one of the resident snipers for the KaTropa, the 25-year old product of Minglanilia, Cebu, however, did not expect.winning the award despite having the numbers for him to do otherwise.

In fact, the Far Eastern University product entered the venue in simple street clothes and had to borrow a rather small for his size coat from TNT Team Manager Virgil Villavicencio.

"Itong jacket ko nga hiniram ko lang sa team manager namin, si Sir V, kasi hindi ko talaga expected," said Pogoy.

"Resulta ito ng hard work ko. Kasi before and after practice nagi-extra (practice) ako eh," he added.

Completing the list of winners are Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Joe Devance, Kelly Williams and Cliff Hodge who were named in the Mythical Second Team and Norwood who won the Sportsmanship Award.

Follow him on Twitter: @patricksutare