June Mar Fajardo

June Mar Fajardo

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June Mar S. Fajardo is a Filipino professional basketball player for the San Miguel Beermen of the PBA. He is also known by his nickname “The Kraken” for his extraordinary size and finesse against opposing big men.

Following his record fifth MVP, June Mar Fajardo played the most games of his career in the 2019 PBA season with 61 games. His superiority in the Philippine Cup continued as he won his league-leading eight Best Player of the Conference award and fifth straight in the All-Filipino conference, norming league-high averages of 21.3 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. He tallied 40 points and 19 rebounds while shooting a near-perfect 14-of-15 from the field in a 113–107 win against Northport, his fourth 40-point game of his career. The Beermen ended the elimination round as the fifth seed with a 7–4 record due to the quotient system. In the semifinals, they defeated the top-seed Phoenix in five games. They went on to defeat Magnolia in the Finals in a grueling seven-game affair, capped off by a come-from-behind win in Game 7 led by Fajardo’s 17 points and career-high 31 rebounds (league record for most rebounds by a local) to capture their historic fifth straight Philippine Cup title. Fajardo bagged his third career Finals MVP.

The Beermen was in unfamiliar territory after finishing seventh seed in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 5–6 record as the returning former Best Import Rhodes struggled, which was eventually replaced by Chris McCullough later in the conference. With a new reinforcement, the seventh seed Beermen managed to defeat NorthPort despite having a twice-to-win disadvantage in the quarterfinals. They defeated Rain or Shine in the semifinals before conquering TNT in six games to reclaim the Commissioner’s Cup.

In the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup and another Grand Slam conquest at hand, Fajardo led once again in the Best Player of the Conference race with averages of 18.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. The Beermen’s import woes in the season-ending conference continued, closing the elimination round as the fifth seed with a twice-to-win disadvantage once again. Fajardo and company faced a familiar foe in eventual champions Barangay Ginebra which defeated the Beermen in the quarterfinals. Despite leading the BPC race, Fajardo lost the award to former teammate Christian Standhardinger after San Miguel’s early exit and another failed Grand Slam bid.

June Mar Fajardo stretched his record to an unprecedented six MVPs after winning the league’s highest individual award for the sixth consecutive season. He also made another round of Mythical First Team and All-Defensive Team selections.

Prior to the start of the 2020 PBA season, Fajardo suffered a complete fracture on his right tibia during team practice in February. The injury sidelined him for the season, as well as national team duties. With Fajardo’s absence, along with the injury of all-star teammate Terrence Romeo, the defending champion Beermen was eliminated by Meralco in the quarterfinals of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, ending their five-year reign.

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