June Mar Fajardo gets clearance to play in Philippine Cup

June Mar Fajardo is set to make his much-anticipated return to the court as San Miguel kicks off its Season 48 PBA Philippine Cup campaign this Friday against winless Rain or Shine.

The 7-time league MVP made the decision to sit out the recent FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers in order to focus on recovering from a left calf injury sustained during the Commissioner’s Cup, which ended in a championship victory for the Beermen against the Magnolia Hotshots.

According to SMB team physiotherapist Edward Bacason, Fajardo has been back in practice with the team for the past two days. However, he will be eased back into gameplay with restricted minutes as he continues with rehabilitation and strengthening exercises for his calf.

“He (Fajardo) has the clearance to play. He just needs to do a lot, like activation, rehab and strengthening and just manage his minutes,” said Bacson during an interview with The Manila Times.

San Miguel is gearing up for a busy schedule ahead, with two games scheduled within three days. Coach Jorge Gallent’s squad will first face TNT on Sunday, March 17, before taking a break for the annual PBA All-Star Weekend in Bacolod City. The team will then return to action on March 31, going head-to-head with Phoenix in their first game back.

Despite battling through pain during the Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Fajardo put up impressive numbers, averaging 16.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks per game. His outstanding performance has positioned him as the frontrunner for the MVP title in Season 48, with the opportunity to make history by potentially securing an unprecedented eighth MVP award.

Fajardo’s current seven MVP trophies already stand as a league record, surpassing the achievements of PBA legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio, who each have four MVP awards to their names. The stage is set for Fajardo to further solidify his legacy in the PBA record books.

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