THEY were dominant forces in the middle during their time as players for Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation In. (Cesafi) member schools.

They earned their chips in the collegiate ranks, having won MVP awards and helping their schools win titles.

But while banger JR Quiñahan readily made an impact when he joined UV Green Lancers in early 2002, beanpole Junemar Fajardo had to work harder in 2007 in order to achieve his goals for the UC Webmasters.

In 2007, the same year Fajardo joined UC, Quiñahan entered the PBA as the No.7 overall pick. The Pinamungajan giant made it to the pro ranks as the No.1 rookie player of 2012.

In his early years, Quiñahan jumped from one team to another before finding a home with the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters. It was also the time when Fajardo started to etch his name as one of the finest players in the PBA.

Now, Quiñahan is one of the pillars of the Batang Pier and Fajardo is seeking to lead the Beermen anew to the PBA Philippine Cup title and probably his fourth straight MVP title.

They will again play against each other on Jan. 21, but this time, it will be in front of a home crowd in the Lapu-Lapu City Hoops Domes.

"I feel very excited moduwa atubangan sa mga Cebuanos," said the Cebuano slotman.

While Quiñahan admitted that this is just another ball game, he too felt excitement facing the three time PBA MVP in Cebu.

"I am excited not because I will play against Abay (Fajardo) because we have been playing against each other for years. But I am excited because Cebuanos will be placed in the limelight dili lang kami ni Abay hasta silang ug si Brian (Heruela) sa San Miguel, ako ug si Terrence (Romeo)," the 10-year PBA veteran stressed.

Quiñahan hopes to draw supporters from his home city Mandaue during the game.