Only 5-time MVP Fajardo says he's far from GOAT status
BOCAUE, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo may be the PBA's only five-time Most Valuable Player but he is not too keen on calling himself the greatest of all time.
The San Miguel star made league history anew by clinching his fifth straight MVP award on Sunday, January 13, to surpass the record of legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio, who won the crown 4 times each.
"Para sa akin, 'yung MVP, hindi basehan kung ikaw na ba 'yung pinakamagaling sa lahat. Para sa akin, kung ano na-contribute mo sa league," Fajardo told reporters after the Leo Awards at the Philippine Arena here.
(For me, the MVP doesn't determine who is the greatest. For me, it is determined with what you can contribute to the league.)
"May mga nauna pa sa akin, may mga legends na nauna pa sa akin, sila 'yung maituturing na GOAT. Sila 'yung greatest, kasi mas nauna sila sa akin, mas marami sila na-achieve sa akin in terms of championships, 'di ba?"
(There were legends who came before me and I think they should be considered the GOAT. They are the greatest, they played here in the PBA first and they achieved more in terms of championships.)
Fernandez has the most titles in league history with 19 and was included in 13 First Mythical and 3 Second Mythical Teams. He is also the PBA's all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, free throws made and minutes.
Patrimonio, meanwhile, has 6 PBA titles under his belt and was selected to 11 Mythical – 10 First and one Second – Teams.
"Hindi ko rin naman sila nakalaban, baka 'pag nakalaban ko sila hindi ako maka-porma," said Fajardo, who has led the Beermen to 6 titles and has won a record 7 Best Player of the Conference awards.
(I wasn't able to face them. And if I were able to play against them, I probably wouldn't stand a chance.)
"Para sa akin, hindi pa, malayo pa ako. Pang-seventh year ko pa lang ito. Pero siyempre honored ako na mapasali sa conversation na 'yun, pero 'di ko iki-claim 'yun."
(For me, I'm not the greatest, I'm far from being the greatest. It's just my seventh season. But of course, I'm honored to even be in that conversation. But I'm not claiming it.)
To Fajardo, what matters is not getting complacent with his growing list of accolades.
"Ayoko maging stagnant. Ayoko maging kuntento. Itong mga achievements na 'to, 'di ko naman nilalagay sa isip, hanggang dito lang," he said while pointing to his chest.
(I don't want to be stagnant. I don't want to be contented. I don't let my achievement get into my head.)
"Kapag nilalagay mo kasi sa utak mo 'yung mga achievements, magiging hambog ka eh," Fajardo added. "Pagsisikapan ko pa 'yan. Marami pa ko gustong ma-achieve."
(When you let your achievements get in your head, you will become arrogant. I'll still work hard. There are many things I still want to achieve.) – Rappler.com