ONLY his San Miguel Beer teammates can stop June Mar Fajardo from clinching a record–tying fifth PBA Best Player of the Conference award.
If only they really can.
The gentle giant continues to hold sway in the race for the top individual honor of the Philippine Cup, widening the gap from the rest of the field, including teammates Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot.
Fajardo, 27, has accumulated a total of 43.4 statistical points (SPs), build around averages of 19.4 points, a league-best 15.2 rebounds, and 2.4 block shots by the end of the semifinal phase.
The numbers have the 6-foot-10 Cebuano pride on track to catch mentor Danny Ildefonso for the most number of BPC awards won. The two-time league MVP bagged an unprecedented five straight BPC titles from the 2000 Commissioner’s Cup all the way to the 2001 Governors Cup.
Globalport superstar Terrence Romeo and Alaska counterpart Calvin Abueva kept their places at second and third respectively, but have dropped out of the race following the ouster of the Batang Pier and Aces early in the playoffs.
Romeo is actually just a few notches behind ‘The Kraken’ with 40.2 SPs as he remained as the league’s most potent scorer with average of 28.2 points per game, while adding 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists.
A far third is Abueva with 31.9 SPs behind averages of 16.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 block shots.
As things stand now, only Santos, Cabagnot, and Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar can give Fajardo, the only player in PBA history to win three straight MVP titles, a run for his money.
Santos, the 35-year-old former MVP, is ranked fourth with 31.79 SPs (15.1 ppg., 8.6 rpg, 1.8 apg), while Cabagnot sits at no. 5 with 31.76 SPs (16.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.8 asp).
Playing perhaps his best season start, Aguilar occupies the No. 6 slot and is the only Ginebra player to crack the Top 10 list. He has an SPs of 31.6 and averages of 15.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg., and 1.8 bpg.
Matthew Wright of Phoenix is the only rookie player making a case for the award as he landed in seventh spot with 30.5 SPs (18.5 ppg., 6.8 rpg., and 3.3 apg).
TnT Katropa’s Jayson Castro, winner of the award in the last Governors Cup, is currently at No. 8 with 29.8 SPs (16.4 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 6.2 apg), while completing the Top 10 are Chris Newsome and Marcio Lassiter.
Newsome of Meralco follows Castro at ninth spot with 29.7 Sps. (15.9 ppg., 7.9 rpg., 5.4 apg), while Lassiter of San Miguel is at no. 10 with 29.6 SPs (13.4 ppg., 6.1 rpg,, and 3.2 apg).