Fajardo wants payback vs Magnolia for past finals heartbreak: 'Pinaiyak nila ako'
MANILA, Philippines – Five years later, June Mar Fajardo will get a chance at payback against the team that broke his heart in his first championship series.
Fajardo still remembers the agony when the San Miguel Beermen, then known as Petron Blaze Boosters, lost the 2013 Governors' Cup title to the Magnolia Hotshots, the former San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.
The frustration caused by the loss was so intense to the point that the Cebuano slotman, an avid gamer, destroyed his personal computer and cried.
So when San Miguel takes on Magnolia in a best-of-7 finals series for the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup crown, Fajardo obviously wants revenge.
"Hindi ko talaga makakalimutan noong rookie year ko, Magnolia ang first championship heartbreak ko," shared Fajardo.
(I will never forget my rookie year, Magnolia was my first championship heartbreak.)
"Pinaiyak nila ako, binasag ko ang PC ko, rookie year ko. Ito na siguro 'yung time na makabawi ako. Kailangan ko mag-champion para makabili ako ng bagong PC."
(They made me cry, I broke my PC in my rookie year. This is the time that I can make my revenge. I need to win this championship so I can buy a new PC.)
Fajardo was then a 23-year-old rookie when the the Blaze Boosters faltered in 7 games to the Super Coffee Mixers. Although he was already dropping double-doubles back then, the Super Coffee Mixers proved to the better team in the series.
But with 4 Most Valuable Player awards now under his belt, he has the experience and skills not to let the same thing happen.
"Nakita ng parents ko na umiyak ako. So 'yun, sabi ko sa sarili ko, darating din ang araw na makakabawi ako."
(My parents saw me cry back then. So I told myself, a day will come that I can avenge that loss.)
Aside from exacting revenge on the Hotshots, Fajardo and the Beermen are also seeking to enter the history books as the only team in the 43 years of the PBA to win 4 straight All-Filipino titles.
A championship in the PBA's maiden conference of the season will also mean San Miguel has a chance to complete a grand slam, something that Fajardo really desires.
"Mahirap naman 'pag papakawalan mo pa. 'Di natin alam kung kailan babalik 'yan eh. Hanggang nandito kami, nabigyan kami ng opportunity na makuha 'yung pang-apat so ga-grab namin," said Fajardo.
(This is something that should not be wasted. We will never know when we can have a chance at that. As long as we are here and are given the opportunity to win that 4th-straight title, we will grab it.)
Game 1 of the finals is on Friday, March 23, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com