MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo feared the possibility of not being able to return on time as San Miguel battled for its spot in the playoffs.
The Beermen went 2-4 in the first six games Fajardo sat out after he underwent surgery for a laryngeal fracture he suffered in the middle of October.
But Fajardo is back earlier than expected and looks like he hardly missed a beat as he helped San Miguel fortify its quarterfinal bid and notch its third straight win following a 119-99 whipping of TNT on Saturday, November 26.
The six-time PBA MVP delivered a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench in just his second game since his injury.
“I was advised that I’d only be able to work out six weeks after the operation,” said Fajardo in a mix of Filipino and English. “But I was able to work out earlier.”
“The good thing is I was able to come back and heal well.”
Although the numbers show otherwise, Fajardo admittedly found it difficult as he rejoined the Beermen after missing seven straight games.
Fajardo, though, credited his teammates and coaches for making the transition easy for him.
“They give me confidence. I struggled. But they give me the ball, they encourage me to shoot and score, so I’m thankful for that,” said Fajardo, who is averaging 19 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.
With Fajardo in tow again, San Miguel – which totes a 6-5 record – is on the right track for a top-six-finish, which saves the Beermen from the daunting task of needing to overcome a twice-to-win disadvantage.
“I hope our winning continues and we reach our goal for a best-of-three quarterfinals.”
San Miguel ends the elimination round against Meralco on December 2 at the PhilSports Arena. – Rappler.com