Fajardo bolsters bid for 5th BPC; Wright top rookie
June Mar Fajardo is about to rewrite history anew as he is paced to snag his fifth Best Player of the Conference award after topping the statistical points (SPs) race after the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
Leading San Miguel to its third straight all-Filipino conference Finals appearance, the three-time PBA Most Valuable Player has maintained his lead from the field, netting 43.4 SPs thanks to his averages of 19.4 points (second-best in the league), 15.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, both league-best.
If Fajardo does come away with the plum, that would tie him with his mentor Danny Ildefonso for most BPC awards at five.
Terrence Romeo is at second at 40.2 SPs, after the GlobalPort guard led the conference again in scoring with 28.2 points per game, to go with 6.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.
Calvin Abueva has moved up to third place with a distant 31.9 SPs behind the Alaska forward’s averages of 16.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks.
It’s not just Fajardo, though, as his fellow Beermen have made their imprint in the race. Arwind Santos (31.79 SPs) and Alex Cabagnot (31.76 SPs) rounded out the top five, while Marcio Lassiter sits at 10th (29.6 SPs) and Chris Ross at 16th (27.2 SPs).
Completing the top 10 are Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar (31.6 SPs), Phoenix rookie Matthew Wright (30.5 SPs), TNT slasher Jayson Castro (29.8 SPs), and Meralco swingman Chris Newsome (29.7 SPs).
Also, Wright has now leapfrogged Mac Belo for the top spot for the league’s neophytes after helping the Fuel Masters advance to the quarterfinals.
The Fil-Canadian Wright averaged 18.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in his first conference in the pro league to nab 30.5 SPs.
Blackwater forward Belo, meanwhile, dropped to second with his 27.7 SPs after the Elite’s early exit in the season-opening conference.
Star guard Jio Jalalon is at third (21.2 SPs), TNT’s Roger Pogoy at fourth (20.5 SPs), and Ginebra’s Kevin Ferrer at fifth (16.1 SPs).
The Best Player of the Conference plum will be awarded on Game 4 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals on March 4 at Smart Araneta Coliseum. CDG