MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel June Mar Fajardo joined an elite company after his rebounding masterclass against Barangay Ginebra.
Fajardo became the sixth player in PBA history to record at least 2,000 offensive rebounds as he anchored the Beermen to a 102-99 win over the Gin Kings in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday, February 17.
Needing one offensive board to achieve the feat, the six-time MVP came up with 12 as he grabbed a conference-high 18 rebounds in the victory that saw San Miguel tie TNT at the top of the standings with identical 7-1 records.
“That is not the goal, but I’m happy to have that accomplishment,” said Fajardo in Filipino after earning his place in the exclusive club composed Ramon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Jerry Codiñera, Asi Taulava, and Ali Peek.
For San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent, the more rebounds Fajardo hauls down, the better.
The 6-foot-10 big man currently leads the league in offensive rebounds with 5.4 boards per game and ranks fifth in total rebounds – including imports – with a 12.8 average.
“Coach challenges me to get extra rebounds,” said Fajardo. “He told me that I owe him some rebounds after last game. He encourages me.”
“I’m thankful that I’m able to break records.”
With the win, the Beermen locked up an outright playoff berth and bolstered their chances of clinching a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
“Fortunately, we won. We needed this win to stay in the top four,” Fajardo said.
The top two teams of the conference are on a collision course as San Miguel and TNT dispute the solo lead when they lock horns on Sunday, February 19, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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