MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs have not proven to be the smoothest of roads for San Miguel star big man June Mar Fajardo.
A game after suffering a bloodied head and hyper-extended left knee against TNT KaTropa in the quarterfinals, the five-time MVP again gave fans a huge scare early into SMB’s semifinals opener against Phoenix.
Just as the Beermen were pulling away late in the 2nd quarter of their 100-88 win against the Fuel Masters, Fajardo fell face first to the Mall of Asia Arena floor after a rebound battle against Doug Kramer and Calvin Abueva.
The 6-foot-11 gentle giant was motionless for at least a minute before he got helped to the bench.
Big blow for San Miguel as Fajardo hits head first on the court after a rebound battle. He was sprawled on the floor for a minute before limping to the bench. San Miguel still leads Phoenix, 43-31, with 2:46 left in the 2nd. #PBASemis | via @JRnalistic pic.twitter.com/Bih7eZF5GF — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) April 13, 2019
Ever the competitor, Fajardo was more concerned after the game that he fouled out and only contributed 9 points and 9 rebounds.
“Nakaka-frustrate,” he said. “Pero lamang kami, panalo kami. Yun ang importante. Move on na kami, ang importante nanalo kami.”
(It’s frustrating. But we were ahead and we won, that’s what’s important. We’ll move on. What’s important is we got the win.)
“Okay naman, good thing hindi naman seryoso,” he continued. “Masakit nung bumagsak. Pero okay naman, pahinga kami bukas.”
(It’s okay. It’s a good thing it wasn’t serious. It hurt when I fell, but I’m okay. We’ll rest tomorrow.)
With the Beermen now up 1-0 in their PH Cup five-peat bid against the top-seeded Fuel Masters, Fajardo is looking to stay on the floor as much as he can and give his all like he always does.
“Siyempre playoffs na, expected na hindi easy,” he said. “Hindi naman easy talaga. Kailangan lang maging matatag.”
(Of course it’s the playoffs. It’s not expected to be easy. We just need to stay strong.) – Rappler.com