Calvin Abueva remains as the frontrunner for the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference plum by the end of the semifinals.
The ‘Beast’ accumulated 34.2 statistical points after Magnolia became the first team to reach the Big Dance by finishing off Meralco in six.
He helped the Hotshots book their third all-Filipino finals trip in four seasons while making his first in five years — something that he’s been vocal about wanting to achieve ever since arriving in the ball club via trade last February.
In the 19 games he’s played with his new team thus far, the 33-year-old has averages of 15.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.1 blocks.
The 2016 Commissioner’s Cup BPC had per-game norms of 13.8 markers, 8.5 boards, 3.0 dimes, and 1.1 steals versus the Bolts in the semis.
But while he solidified his hold of the top spot, teammate Ian Sangalang is actually imposing the biggest threat in his bid to take home the award.
The 6-foot-7 slotman has been one of the most consistent players in the tilt, so much so that he hiked his SPs to 33.0 to rank third in the race.
He’s actually behind Robert Bolick with 33.7 SPs but his personal bid suffered a major blow when NorthPort got swept by San Miguel in the quarters.
Sangalang is averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He’s had 10 double-doubles this conference, including four in the semis.
In the series clincher last Friday, the eight-year pro made 19 points and 14 rebounds, together with six assists, three blocks, and two steals in 41 minutes and 36 seconds — the longest he’s played in the tilt.
Meanwhile, coming in at no. 4 is Mikey Williams, whose numbers saw a dip early in TNT’s semis battle with San Miguel Beer.
The 28-year-old has 32.0 SPs with averages of 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 18 games. But he was able to find his groove in Game Seven Sunday night by turning in 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Rounding out the Top Five is reigning six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo with 31.8 SPs behind norms of 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds.
The Cebuano star leads the league with 15 double-doubles, including 22 and 15 in Sunday’s win-or-go-home as he tried to will his Beermen.