The San Miguel Beermen claimed the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship last July 2 with a 115-91 Game 6 victory over the TNT KaTropa.

As the balloons and confetti rained down the hardwood of Smart-Araneta Coliseum, our very own June Mar Fajardo added another championship to what’s shaping up as a legendary career.

From the underdeveloped big guy from Cebu to now a 5-time PBA Champion, June Mar has come a long way to prove to everyone that he really is the Future of Philippine basketball local sports analysts dubbed him as. At only 27 years old, the 6 foot 11 Cebuano has won 3 PBA MVP trophies, 5 PBA Best Player of the Conference awards, 5 All-Star Game appearances and so much more.

“Sobrang saya na nagchampion ulit kami,” (I’m very happy we won the championship again) said June Mar in his usual jolly self. “Nagbunga lahat ng pagod at sakripisyo namin.” (All our hard work and sacrifices paid off).

You can just imagine how much work June Mar himself had to go to as he attended practices for not only the San Miguel Beermen but also for the Philippine National Team at the same time. Just a month before the PBA Playoffs, June Mar along with the Gilas Pilipinas won the gold medal in the SEABA Championship 2017 to secure a slot for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.

After three championships in a span of a close to four months starting with the PBA Philippine Cup crown, The Kraken is hoping to capture another one for the prestigious Grand Slam. “Kailangan namin maghanda nang mabuti para sa 3rd conference kasi alam naming na hindi gano’n kadali makuha ang championship,” (We have to prepare well for the 3rd conference because we know it’s not going to be that easy to win another championship,) said June Mar. “Siyempre dapat healthy din kami lahat kaya kailangan maayos ang preparasyon namin.” (We all have to stay healthy so we have to make sure we prepare properly.)

“Sobrang ganda ng chemistry namin ngayon. Matagal na kasi kami magkasama ng teammates ko at dami naming pinagdaanan na ups and downs. Samahang walang katulad kami dito sa SMB.”

Before we wrapped up our quick chat with the champ, he added one more thing – “Nakaka-proud na narepresent ko ang Cebu. Sobrang proud ako maging Cebuano.” (I’m really glad to be able to represent Cebu and I’m very proud to be Cebuano.)

Congratulations, JMF.

5x Champ.


Photos by: Paul Ryan Tan