Fajardo makes PBA debut today-A A +A
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
SOME of Manila’s basketball experts raised their eyebrows when Petron Blaze Boosters announced that they will be picking Cebuano center Junemar Fajardo as the No.1 draft pick during the Annual Rookie Drafting last August.
Most of them said Fajardo is just another EJ Feihl in the making—all height and hype.
That was based on Fajardo’s lackadaisical performance with the San Miguel Beermen team in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), where he averaged 4.57 points and 4.14 rebounds in 21 games.
But Petron had its reasons and now some of Fajardo’s critics are starting to see the potential of the former University of Cebu giant, who is slowly emerging as “The Next Big Thing” in the PBA.
In the last few pre-season games, Fajardo showed what he can do when he decided to get gritty and dominate on both ends of the floor.
With a healthy line-up and a new coach in Olsen Racela, the Blaze Boosters are expected to display their deadly form against the Elasto Painters after the Air 21 and Barako Bull encounter at 5:15 p.m.
Racela, who just replaced former coach Ato Agustin at Petron’s bench is expected to utilize the 6’9” Fajardo’s potential against Rain or Shine’s big men JR Quiñahan also of Cebu and Beau Belga.
The 23-year-old Fajardo said his focus is on defense since the Blaze Boosters are powered by a lot of shooters like Arwind Santos, Fil-Am Chris Lutz, Joseph Yeo, Jay Washington and Alex Cabagnot.
“It is on defense that I really need to focus because we have plenty of shooters so I don’t need to shoot,” said Fajardo.
Racela shared the same sentiment that Fajardo should focus more on defense instead of offense.
“I’m expecting a good game between Petron and Rain or Shine. We can be tested in this game. June Mar (Fajardo) will have to defend the perimeter because Rain or Shine’s big men like Belga and Quiñahan shoot from the outside,” said Racela.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2012.