Jamie Malonzo, Mikey Williams lead charge for their teams and race for PBA Finals MVP trophy
Barangay Ginebra’s Jamie Malonzo and TNT’s Mikey Williams have put themselves in strong consideration for the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup championship series after strong performances in the race-to-four affair.
Malonzo’s energy and consistent three-point shooting has resulted in averages of 20.5 points on 50-percent shooting with 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Gin Kings going into pivotal fifth game of the series, which was being played at press time.
Williams has a good chance to claim a second Finals MVP plum if the Tropang Giga go on to win the crown, producing 19.8 points on a 43-percent clip alongside 2.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
The PBA Press Corps will select the Finals MVP at the conclusion of the championship tussle, but these two are just some of the players that could be selected depending on how the series climax translates.
Past Finals MVP winners Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger have also been crucial in Ginebra’s bid with their strong numbers after four games.
Thompson, named best player of the Finals in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup and 2022 Governors’ Cup, had quietly produced 16.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.3 steals thanks to his usual activity on both ends.
Standhardinger, despite a silent Game 4, posted 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists to keep an outside track at repeating his MVP showing in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals, when the Gin Kings survived the guest team Bay Area Dragons in seven games.
Ginebra is also getting integral contributions from Stanley Pringle with 12.0 points on 58-percent shooting highlighted by a perfect shooting clip during Ginebra’s victory in Game 3.
Calvin Oftana has been on and off for TNT in the series, but the versatile forward, with averages of 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds before Game 5, may put up a windup effort that could carry TNT to the top.
Veteran Jayson Castro, who has been Finals MVP twice, has embraced the role of coming off the bench to give the Tropang Giga 10.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in almost 28 minutes.