DAVE Apolinario idolizes PBA stars June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar.
Yet in his own right, the Filipino fighter is also a champion just like the two basketball icons.
Make that a world champion.
The newly-crowned IBO flyweight title holder was at ringside Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as special guest during the Philippine Cup semifinals doubleheader between TNT and Magnolia and San Miguel Beer against Meralco.
The 23-year-old pride of Maasim, Sarangani received a heart-warming applause from the huge Big Dome crowd after being acknowledged during Game 3 of the best-of-seven series between the Tropang Giga and Magnolia.
Apolinario is fresh from winning the 112-pound crown following his first round TKO of veteran Gideon Buthelezi of South Africa during their title fight at the East London Convention Centre, East London in South Africa last July 29.
The Filipino champion was with his team from Sanman Promotions led by CEO Jim Claude Manangquil and manager Mike Pelayo during the game.
"Idol ko talaga si June Mar Fajardo at si Japeth Aguilar," said Apolinario, who was able to watch the 6-foot-11 San Miguel stalwart during the second game against Meralco.
Apolinario, who holds a perfect 17-0 record (12 KOs), added he also plays basketball from time to time as he showed some dribbling skills on the side.
"Pampa-pawis lang," he added.
Apolinario brought along with him his shining IBO championship belt for the fans to see, while the league through commissioner Willie Marcial, gave him a signed basketball and the latest copy of the PBA Annual as souvenirs. (RG)