David paces player derby
Caguioa second in statisticsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
POWERADE’S Gary David topped the statistical points race in the PBA Governors Cup as expected with Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa winding up second after the end of the semifinal round last Wednesday.
After leading all locals in scoring with 24.8 points a game, David tallied an average of 33 statistical points in 11 contests for the Tigers, who got booted out in the second knockout match by Meralco for the last semifinal berth.
David, a member of the Smart-Gilas II national team program under Chot Reyes, was the Philippine Cup’s Best Player of the Conference and is one of the candidates for the season-ending MVP award.
Caguioa tallied 29.93 through 15 games after the Gin Kings were shown the door by B-Meg in a knockout match Friday night for the right to face Rain or Shine in the best-of-seven Finals. Game 1 the title series was being played at presstime.
Caguioa, whose bid for a first-ever MVP suffered a big blow after that loss to the Llamados, normed 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in one of the finest seasons of his career.
Making a case for the conference’s BPC was Marc Pingris of the Llamados, the hard-working power forward who had a late surge of brilliance in the playoffs to finish third in the statistical points race.
The 6-foot-4 workhorse had a 27.69 SPs average and is the only player in the top 10 who did not average in twin digits in scoring with just 9.6 points a game in 15 outings.
But Pingris collared an average of 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists as he edged out glamorous teammate and former two-time MVP James Yap, who finished in fourth with an average of 26.13 SPs.
Yap had averages of 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Llamados even as super rookie Paul Lee of Rain or Shine ranked fifth and became an automatic BPC candidate after averaging 14.2 points and 3.4 assists.
Rain or Shine is in the Finals for the first time in its PBA life.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Arwind Santos of Petron Blaze (26.00), Asi Taulava of Meralco (26.00), Jay Washington of Petron (26.00), Barako Bull’s Willie Miller (25.70) and Talk ‘N Text’s Ranidel de Ocampo (25.36).
The Player of the Conference award will be handed out before Wednesday’s Game 2 with Marcus Blakely of B-Meg having a huge lead over Rain or Shine’s Jamelle Cornley in the top Imports’ race. Blakely, after turning in averages of 24.1 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.9 blocks, had a 50.07 overall SPs.
Cornley actually finished fifth in the statistical points race with 42.86.