Alaska’s Calvin Abueva on pace to make PBA historyBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Alaska Aces prized rookie Calvin Abueva is on track to achieve a rare feat in the 38th PBA Season.
Abueva, the second overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft, leads both the Most Valuable Player and the Rookie of the Year race after two conferences with a pace-setting 21.4 statistical points (sps).
Leading in the statistical points gives the six-foot-two bruiser a shot at becoming just the second player in league history to win the MVP and ROY honors at the same time. PBA legend Benjie Paras was named Rookie-MVP back in 1989.
The 24-year-old do-it all player has no problems in filling the stat sheet with the way he plays but getting votes from the press, league officials and co-players, which plays a major role in the MVP balloting, remains to be a hurdle.
The former San Sebastian star was one of the frontrunners for the Best Player of the Conference title the past couple of conferences.
But on both occasions he failed to garner the number of votes needed – yielding the BPC award to Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro in the Philippine Cup and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s LA Tenorio in the Commissioner’s Cup despite leading the statistical standings.
Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos is in close second behind Abueva with 21.0 sps while Castro (20.0), GlobalPort guard Sol Mercado (19.4) and Tropang Texters’ power forward Ranidel de Ocampo (19.1) are not too far either as they round up the top five.
Completing the top 10 in the MVP chase are reigning MVP Mark Caguioa of the Gin Kings (18.9), JVee Casio of the Aces (18.8), LA Tenorio of the Kings (18.2), Cyrus Baguio of the Aces (18.1), Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee (17.694) and Niño Canaleta of Air21 (17.693).
Abueva also tops the rookie race with a shortened Governors’ Cup left as the NCAA Season 87 MVP leaves Petron’s center June Mar Fajardo in the rear-view mirror with 16.3 sps.
Meralco’s Cliff Hodge is in third (15.1 sps) behind Abueva and Fajardo followed by Ginebra’s athletic guard Chris Ellis (13.5 sps) and Hodge’s teammate, Vic Manuel (10.2 sps).