How San Miguel teammates help June Mar Fajardo recover from the loss of his mother

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
How San Miguel teammates help June Mar Fajardo recover from the loss of his mother
June Mar Fajardo (L) had lost his mother prior to the PBA season restart in Bacolor, Pampanga
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo's life had taken a big hit before the PBA restart in Bacolor, Pampanga when the San Miguel center’s mother, Marites Fajardo, died weeks before the Beermen were set to return to play.

With Fajardo known to be close to his mother, it was only normal that returning to play is taking more getting used to than it did before.

But Fajardo is getting some help from his teammates, who are making sure not just to support him in the basketball court, but also off it as well in this trying time in his life.

"Syempre, unang-una pinaramdam namin sa kanya yung pakikiramay namin," Beermen veteran Arwind Santos narrated to The Game.

"Pero ngayon, nung nakasama namin siya... Nung time na andito [na] kami, kinakausap namin siya palagi sa gym," he added.

Fajardo had also been recovering from a leg injury that deemed him out of action last season.

Now, the Beermen are happy to report that the big man is slowly but surely getting back to his feet.

"Nakakatuwa ngayon, nakangiti-ngiti na siya, tapos [nung Sunday] sobrang mas natuwa ako kasi eager na siya manalo," said Santos.

"Nandoon na yung dating June Mar, bumabalik balik na," he added.

But Santos knows Fajardo's issue in his heart more than others, as he also lost his mother in 2016.

Knowing what the 6'10" cager is going through, Santos took it to himself to console his longtime teammate.

"Nagheart-to-heart talk kami, one on one sa gym," said Santos.

"Sabi ko June Mar, alam mo yung dahilan mo? Yung reason mo kung bakit ka andito? Ginagamit ko rin dahilan, para sa mama mo. Kaya wag natin sayangin yung opportunity na ‘to," he added.

Santos also alluded to Fajardo's mother being always supportive of the latter's career in basketball.

"Isipin natin to: ang mama mo number one fan mo yan, ayaw rin niya na maglalaro ka lang ng ganyan... Gusto niya nageenjoy ka parin sa trabaho mo," he told Fajardo.

As the Beermen eye a return to glory in the Philippine Cup, it wouldn't hurt to have Fajardo back in top form both physically, and mentally.

San Miguel will play their second game against the Northport Batang Pier on Thursday in a bid to advance to the next round.

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