4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo

CEBU, Philippines — This hardcourt giant from Pinamungajan town south of Cebu is without doubt a future Hall of Famer in Philippine cagedom.

Now the country’s most dominant basketball player, June Mar Fajardo first sharpened his hoop skills as the member of the University of Cebu Webmasters, UC’s college varsity team in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI).

Armed with discipline, hard work and perseverance, it did not take long for the 6-foot-8 goliath to make a name for himself. It all started when he guided the UC Webmasters to back-to-back CESAFI championships in 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Fajardo’s first shot to fame came when he etched his name in stone as the first Cebuano cager to emerge as the No.1 overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft. The Petron Blaze Boosters bestowed upon him that distinct honor.

In his rookie year, he was selected to the All-Rookie Team and the Second Mythical Team. He also earned a silver medal playing for the Philippine national team at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

Fajardo’s first shot to fame came when he etched his name in stone as the first Cebuano cager to emerge as the No.1 overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft. The Petron Blaze Boosters bestowed upon him that distinct honor.

In his rookie year, he was selected to the All-Rookie Team and the Second Mythical Team. He also earned a silver medal playing for the Philippine national team at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

So far in his illustrious PBA career, Fajardo is a seven-time Best Player of the Conference, five-time Mythical First Team, two-time Finals MVP, seven-time All-Star and six-time champion. More importantly, Fajardo kept his feet firmly on the ground, winning the PBA Sportsmanship Award two times in 2015 and 2016.

Looking back from the very start of his professional career nearly a decade ago, local sports analysts were indeed right in extolling Fajardo as the “Future of Philippine basketball”. (FREEMAN)