June Mar Fajardo was still a wide-eyed, 23-year old rookie when San Miguel, then know as the Petron Blaza Boosters, took on the Magnolia Hotshots, then known as the San Mig Coffee Mixers in the Finals of the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Petron, reinforced by Elijah Millsap, bowed to the Marqus Blakely-powered San Mig Coffee in 7 games.
The loss caused so much anguish for the young Fajardo that he broke his personal computer in a fit of rage.
“Hindi ko talaga makakalimutan nung rookie year ko, Magnolia ang first championship heartbreak ko. Pinaiyak nila ako, binasag ko ang PC ko, rookie year ko,” admitted the now 4-time league Most Valuable Player.
“Sobrang umiyak talaga ako. Nakita ng parents ko na umiyak ako,” he added.
The Finals win against Petron was just the start for San Mig Coffee as they won the next three conferences en route to a Grand Slam.
The painful loss proved to be a valuable learning experience for Fajardo as he bounced back the following season by bagging his first MVP award. He would go on to the duplicate the win for the next three years, winning his 4th MVP in only his 5th year in the league.
Along with Fajardo’s success came the Beermen’s as well. After San Mig Coffee completed their 4-title romp, San Miguel took over and won 5 titles, including 3 straight Philippine Cup conquests.
The upcoming Finals series between the two teams will provide the Cebuano giant an opportunity to settle the score.
“Ito na siguro yung time na makabawi ako. Kailangan ko mag-champion para makabili ako ng bagong PC. Kasi binasag ko yung PC ko nung natalo ako sa Magnolia, sobrang sama ng loob. Tapos ngayon, sana makabili ako ng bago.”