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Basketball

June Mar Fajardo clinches 7th PBA MVP Award, extends record


June Mar Fajardo further added to his legend after earning PBA Season 47 Most Valuable Player honors in the Leo Awards, Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The San Miguel star collected the league’s highest individual award for the seventh time, extending his record of most season MVP awards won.

His coronation marked one of the PBA’s most successful comebacks from a major injury. It could be recalled that Fajardo suffered a gruesome shin injury during practice back in 2020, and took him over a year to regain his old form.

Serving as an indication that he is indeed back was the 2022 Philippine Cup, which saw him earn Best Player of the Conference honors — his ninth.

He then helped the Beermen regain the Perpetual trophy by beating TNT in the best-of-seven Finals that went the full route, in the process winning his record-tying fourth Finals MVP plum with averages of 19.0 points and 16.57 rebounds.

A big part of SMB’s semifinal runs in the two conferences that followed, Fajardo finished the season leading the statistical points race with 40.2 SPs behind per-game norms of 17.7 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks.

The Cebuano star bested Season 46 MVP Scottie Thompson, another Ginebra King in Christian Standhardinger, and fellow Beerman CJ Perez for the award.

All four are included in the Mythical First Team together with another Jamie Malonzo, who was a consistent figure in the BPC races of the previous season.

Fajardo and Standhardinger also lead the All-Defensive Team, which features the Meralco duo of Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge plus Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon.

#ReadMore  GM Torre salvages bronze

Another Hotshots star Calvin Abueva is in the Mythical Second Team that also has TNT’s Mikey Williams and Calvin Oftana, and ex-NorthPort star Robert Bolick and now the Batang Pier’s main man Arvin Tolentino.

Former Converge lead guard and now Gin King Maverick Ahanmisi, meanwhile, won Most Improved Player honors for his All-Star level play last season.

Another FiberXer in Justin Arana went away with Rookie of the Year honors, beating Blackwater’s Ato Ular and Tyler Tio of Phoenix Super LPG.

Kevin Alas, ultimately, earned the Samboy Lim Sportmanship Award. The NLEX star is the first to win the award in back-to-back seasons after Gabe Norwood in 2017 and 2018.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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