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Fajardo makes history, wins third straight MVP crown


As the 41st year of the biggest basketball league in the country reaches its end, the Annual PBA Leo Awards recognized the best talents of the league for the 2015-2016 season.

For the highest individual award, June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen was hailed as the best player in the league for the third straight year.

Fajardo grabbed 3079 total points, accumulated from votes of fans, media and players, in addition to his stats for the year. He edged out Jayson Castro and Calvin Abueva for the prestigious award.

For the second straight year, but a first in terms of the award name, Fajardo also bagged the 2016 Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award.

As for the other awards, Rain or Shine’s Jericho Cruz was named as the Most Improved Player, as the versatile guard helped his team clinch the Commissioner’s Cup title last May.

Meanwhile, the league had a tough time scoring against the grittiest of defenders grouped in the All-Defensive team composed of Marc Pingris of Star, Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, Ping Exciminiano of Alaska and SMB’s Chris Ross.

As for the best talent in the latest talented draft pool, Meralco Bolts’ Chris Newsome bagged the Rookie of the Year award as the 26-year-old helped his team enter the championship round for the first time. The former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle bested Maverick Ahanmisi, Art Dela Cruz, Troy Rosario, and Moala Tautuaa.

The ten best players of the season were also hailed into the two mythical team selections. The Second Mythical team included Ginebra’s LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, NLEX Road Warriors Asi Taulava and Sean Anthony, rounded up by San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot.

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SMB’s towering duo of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo, and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro rounded up the First Mythical team selection.

As Fajardo continued to bag awards, he could not help himself but be grateful for the “blessings” that he has received.

“Wala na akong masabi. Sobrang blessed talaga. Pasalamat ako kay God sa blessings na binigay niya sa akin,” said the soft-spoken Fajardo.

“Masaya ako dito pero malungkot ako na di ko natulungan team ko maka abot sa finals pero pag-bubutihan para next conference maka abot na kami.”

The Governor’s Cup best players were awarded last Sunday before Game 2 of the Finals, as Jayson Castro and Allen Durham were named as the Best Player and the Best Import of the conference respectively.

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