June Mar Fajardo comes out of seclusion to receive sixth MVP award

JUNE Mar Fajardo made a surprise appearance and a grand entrance to receive an unprecedented sixth straight PBA MVP award on Sunday during the Leo Awards at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. In seclusion since suffering a complete fracture of his right tibia during an offseason practice, the 6-10 Fajardo surprised fans when he rolled in on a bicycle to receive the league's highest individual honor. The dramatic entrance was followed by an emotional speech for the long-haired San Miguel slotman, who beat out Christian Standhardinger of NorthPort, Columbian rookie CJ Perez, and Jayson Castro of TnT for the award.

The injury will most likely sideline the longest reigning MVP in PBA history for the rest of the season. But that has not dampened his positivity or sense of humor, joking during his acceptance speech that he expects to win it again this season. But Cebuano gentle giant turned emotional when he thanked his parents, who he said were his prime motivation. "Sila lang naman ang aking motivation kaya ako nagsusumikap," he said, brushing his long hair from his face "Gusto ko silang bigyan ng magandang buhay, na di na nila iniisip ang pambayad sa kuryente at ibang gastusin."

Fajardo completed his impressive 2019 by also winning places in the First Mythical Team as well as the All-Defensive Team selection. Fajardo was joined in the first Mythical Team by Castro, Perez, Standhardinger, and Sean Anthony, and in the All-Defensive Team by Perez, Japeth Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra, and SMB teammate Chris Ross. Perez also won Rookie of the Year honors while Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel, which also played most of 2019 with NorthPort, claimed the Most Improved Player award. Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine claimed the Sportsmanship Award.

Source: spin.ph