Castro pips teammate for best player trophyBy Musong R. Castillo |Philippine Daily Inquirer
This could be a sign of bigger things to come for Jason Castro.
The heady and speedy Talk ‘N Text guard was named the PBA Philippine Cup’s Best Player, handily beating out teammate Ranidel de Ocampo and super Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva for his first such citation.
Castro won out in the media, players and league votes to make up for a third place finish in the statistical points race and tally 1,146 points, and beat De Ocampo by more than 400 points.
And more importantly, the award gives Castro an automatic berth in the list of candidates for the season-ending MVP award.
Castro, who averaged 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the eliminations and the playoffs, garnered 32 out of 36 first place media votes, 16 of 37 players’ votes and 150 points out of a possible 250 points from the PBA.
De Ocampo, the Texters’ pillar of strength underneath, finished with 730 points, getting the bulk of his total from 30 second place votes from the covering media. He also cornered 75 points from the PBA.
Abueva, the main reason for Alaska’s resurgence as a legitimate force in the league once again, actually got two first place votes from the media and tallied 612 total points.
Arwind Santos of Petron Blaze, the statistical points topnotcher with 456 points in that category, finished fourth with 520 points, his chances of bagging the BPC vanishing into thin air after the Boosters were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Sol Mercado of Meralco brought up the rear of the five-man field with 437 points.
Mercado made the list of candidates after finishing second to Santos in the statistical points’ race after leading the league in scoring and assists with averages of 19.1 and 6.7, respectively.
The Tropang Texters were trying to wrap up the best-of-seven title series with Rain or Shine with a 4-0 sweep at press time, and Castro and De Ocampo are also locked in a heated battle for the Papa John’s Pizza-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP award.