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For guiding SMB to back-to-back wins, Fajardo claims PBA Player of the Week nod

In his ususal scoring self yet again, San Miguel slotman June Mar Fajardo earned this week's Player of the Week honors. Rick Johnsen Dela Cruz/Dugout Philippines

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—After losing three straight games, who better San Miguel rely on redemption than its most dominant force.

June Mar Fajardo heeded the call and was instrumental in the defending champions’ sudden surge, earning him the PBA Rush-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of May 28-June 3.

The four-time Most Valuable Player averaged 16.5 points, 16 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks in SMB’s back-to-back wins opposite Phoenix and crowd darlings Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for a 2-3 win-loss card.

Despite being under the weather, Fajardo made his presence felt with a nine-point, 13-rebound, four-assist, and two-block performance in the team’s 106-94 victory over the Fuel Masters on May 30.

[Related Story: SMB barges into win column, upends Fuel Masters]

The 6-10 Cebuano then redeemed himself on Sunday, muscling his way to 24 points and 19 boards, including the mid-range jumper that sent the game into overtime, as the Beermen silenced Ginebra, 104-97.

[Related Story: SMB holds on to beat Ginebra in OT]

“Sabi ko, ‘Sana pumasok para mag-tie’ Ayun, pumasok, so swerte. Ganun talaga. Andyan lang ang suwerte paminsan-minsan,” said Fajardo on the last-second shot against the Gins that the game at 93-all.

Fajardo won the citation ahead of teammate Arwind Santos, TNT’s Terrence Romeo and Jericho Cruz, Rain or Shine slotman Raymond Almazan, Alaska’s Vic Manuel and Chris Banchero as well as Meralco’s Chris Newsome and Anjo Caram.

The Beermen will ride on the momentum as it faces the skidding Columbian Dyip on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

“Sana [magtuluy-tuloy], pero malalakas yung kalaban. Try namin yung best namin na makuha namin yung maraming panalo—one game at a time,” the soft-spoken giant added.

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero