The fight for the coveted individual plum in the PBA Governors’ Cup is a virtual bar-room brawl.
The Best Player of the Conference derby heads to a curious finish, with not a single player from finalists Barangay Ginebra and Meralco making the Top Five in the stats race.
San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Columbian Dyip super rookie CJ Perez, NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger, NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena, and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro are slugging it out in the BPC rumble.
Meanwhile, two-time Governors’ Cup Best Import winner Allen Durham and one-time Commissioner’s Cup top reinforcement Justin Brownlee are again chief rivals for the coveted ware.
With outside chances for the Best Import honors are TNT’s KJ McDaniels and NorthPort’s Michael Qualls.
But it could well be either Durham or Brownlee since they’ve remained class acts, with their topnotch performances leading to a third finals duel in the season-ending tourney.
The BPC award is a toss-up among Fajardo, Perez, Standhardinger, Ravena, and Castro — all with strong cases to win the award.
Fajardo (with an average of 38.8 stats points) narrowly won the stats race over Perez (37.2). The season’s top draft selection made a good impression all season long, including in the Governors’ Cup, where he showed the way in scoring (23.2) and in steals (2.5).
Standhardinger (35.1 SPs) and Castro (31.6 SPs) were two candidates carrying their teams to the semis. Meanwhile, Ravena earned taps on the back with his fine showing coming from his long FIBA suspension.
Three Ginebra stalwarts in Stanley Pringle (30.8), Japeth Aguilar (29.9) and LA Tenorio (28.0) narrowly missed the Magic Five, together with TNT’s RR Pogoy (30.4) and Meralco’s Chris Newsome (29.8).
Tied with Tenorio in 10th spot was Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang (28.0), followed by another rookie in Bobby Ray Parks (27.5). Raymond Almazan (27.4), Jeth Troy Rosario (27.0) and Matthew Wright (26.8) to round out the Top 15.
Fajardo collected averages of 19.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks to contend for a second BPC award in the season following his BPC coronation in the all-Filipino tourney.
Meanwhile, Castro, the Commissioner’s Cup best player, normed 14.9 markers, 5.9 dish-offs, 4.4 boards and 1.7 steals.