Fajardo, Greg hog limelight

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Saturday, July 5, 2014


SOPHOMORE June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 39th season of the Philippine Basketball Association in a fitting ceremony dubbed "The Leos Awards” on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 6'10” Cebuano Fajardo gained a total of 2,614 points in statistics, players votes, media votes and PBA officials votes to beat veterans Asi Taulava of Air 21 Express, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro of Talk 'N Text for the prestigious individual plum.

And if it was not yet enough, the 24-year-old Pinamungajan, Cebu-born Fajardo likewise brought home the Most Improved Player award and was also named in the First Mythical Five and All-Defensive trophies. He was the first since Mark Caguioa in 2011 to be named MVP from a team, which failed to reach the finals. He is also the first center after a long while to win the most coveted honor.

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“Nagpapasalamat ako kay God, unang-una, then sa pamilya, ko, dahil maraming dreams ang nabuo dito. Nagpasalamat din ako sa mga tutors ko sa University of Cebu, kay Atty. Augusto Go, Atty. Baldomero Estenzo and kay coach Roel Gomez dahil kung hindi sa kanila hindi ko makarating dito ngayon. May tatak UC kasi ako," said Fajardo.

Another Cebuano Greg Slaughter of Ginebra San Miguel, who also started his career in basketball in Cebu at the University of the Visayas, was named Rookie of the Year, while Willie Miller of Barako Bull gained the Sportsmanship plum.

Also named in the 2nd Mythical Five were Rain or Shine's Paul Lee, San Mig Coffee's June Peter Simon, Ginebra's Greg Slaughter, San Mig's Marc Pingres and Alaska's Sonny Thoss.

Other awardees included Pingres, Mark Barroca also of San Mig Coffee, Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood and Jireh Ibanez as members of the All-Defensive team, while Castro, Asi Taulava, Barroca and Ranidel de Ocampo joined Fajardo in the First Mythical Five. (FCC)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 06, 2014.

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