June Mar Fajardo has set a record that will be tough to break in the years to come.
The San Miguel Beermen main man was crowned the Philippine Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player for the fifth straight season at the 43rd Leo Awards, Sunday at the cavernous Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Fajardo, 29, now has the most number of MVP plums in league history, surpassing the four trophies each collected by Purefoods franchise legend Alvin Patrimonio and another San Miguel great in “El Presidente” Ramon Fernandez.
The 6-foot-10 slotman from Cebu defeated NorthPort Batang Pier star Stanley Pringle for the honors, who made a strong case for the highest individual plum after posting a league-best average of 21.0 points per game last season.
Pringle is set to be the league’s new scoring champion, ending the three-year reign of former teammate and current Beerman Terrence Romeo.
Fajardo and Pringle are at the forefront of the Mythical First Team, together with San Miguel sniper Marcio Lassiter; one-half of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s twin towers Japeth Aguilar; and Magnolia Hotshots’ Paul Lee.
Fajardo also spearheaded the All-Defensive team. Completing the team are his SMB teammate Chris Ross; Magnolia’s frontcourt duo of Rome Dela Rosa and Rafi Reavis; and Rain or Shine Elasto Painter Gabe Norwood.
Norwood is also the recipient of the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award.
The second Mythical team, meanwhile, is comprised of new NLEX Road Warrior Poy Erram; former league MVP Arwind Santos; Phoenix Fuel Masters’ Matthew Wright; Magnolia’s Mark Barroca; and Gin King Scottie Thompson.
Thompson is also last season’s Most Improved Player awardee. Crowned the MVP of the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals, the incoming fourth-year guard from Perpetual averaged 9.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists last season.
Phoenix’s Jason Perkins is the 2018 Rookie of the Year. He defeated Magnolia’s Robbie Herndon, Rain or Shine’s Rey Nambatac, Blackwater Elite forward Raymar Jose, and Alaska Aces’ Jeron Teng for the honors.
Last season’s top two picks Christian Standhardinger and Kiefer Ravena were both disqualified from the race.