BOCAUE — June Mar Fajardo may have ascended to his own level at the pantheon of PBA legends after snatching his fifth Most Valuable Player Award, but he’s not about to start calling himself the greatest of all time any time soon.
Speaking to members of the media after receiving his award, ‘The Kraken’ quickly dismissed any notion that this award, which gives him the most MVPs ever, was finally the one that catapulted him ahead of anyone in league history.
“Para sa’kin, yung MVP hindi basehan kung ikaw na ba yung pinaka-magaling sa lahat. Para sa’kin, kung ano na-contribute mo sa league,” the soft-spoken behemoth said.
It took only six years for Fajardo to leapfrog esteemed big men Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio for the most all-time citations, with his rookie year being the only time he did not win the plum.
But ever the humble figure that he is, Fajardo still thinks that he has a long way to go before he unseats any of those legends.
“May mga nauna pa sakin, may mga legends na nauna pa sak’in, sila yung maituturing na GOAT. Sila yung greatest, kasi mas nauna sila sa’kin, mas marami sila na-achieve sakin in terms of championships di ba,” he said.
“Hindi ko rin naman sila nakalaban, baka ‘pag nakalaban ko sila hindi ako maka-porma. Para sa’kin, hindi pa. Malayo pa ako.” he added.
“Syempre honored ako na mapa-sali sa conversation na yun, pero di ko ike-claim yun.”
Instead, the 6-foot-11 Cebuano promised to continue striving to improve while keeping his feet on the ground as he guns for more success in his prime.
“Ayoko maging stagnant. Ayoko maging kuntento. Itong mga achievements na ‘to ‘di ko naman nilalagay sa isip, hanggang dito lang,” Fajardo shared as he tapped his chest. “Kapag nilalagay mo kasi sa utak mo ‘yung mga achievements, magiging hambog ka eh. Para sa’kin. Pwede mo naman ipagmayabang kasi pinaghirapan mo yan.”
“Pagsisikapan ko pa yan. Marami pa ko gustong ma-achieve.”
Fajardo averaged 20.6 points, 12.4 rebounds 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in the 43rd season.
He edged out NorthPort star Stanley Pringle by gathering 2436 statistical points—a cumulative total from his year-end statistics and from media, player and league votes.