Prince Caperal was named the Most Improved Player of the PBA 45th season in the Special Awards ceremonies, Sunday night.
|PBA SEASON 45 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER|
The Ginebra slotman garnered 2,447 votes from the stats, media, players, and the PBA, defeating Phoenix Super LPG counterpart Justin Chua.
The 6-foot-6 bruiser, who had a career year and at season’s end emerged as the league’s blocks king with 1.6 a game, received 2,096 votes.
Other nominees were Chua’s teammate Jason Perkins, 42-year-old Reynel Hugnatan of Meralco, NLEX’s Raul Soyud, and Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine.
“Siyempre sobrang saya, kahit papano na-recognize yung improvement sa game ko,” the 27-year-old Caperal said.
Caperal only averaged 1.2 points in the 2019 season but became a regular part of Coach Tim Cone’s rotation with Greg Slaughter out, helping his side cop their first Philippine Cup championship in 13 years.
The Arellano product logged in 22 minutes in 22 games and normed 7.8 points on 42-percent shooting from deep, alongside 3.8 rebounds.
His best game of the season came versus Blackwater last Oct. 15, where he had 24 points–spiked by five triples–to lead Ginebra to a 91-84 win.
“Gusto ko rin magpasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong — sa coaching staff, sa teammates,” the six-year pro expressed. “Hindi naman makukuha ‘yung award na ‘yun kung hindi dahil sa kanila.”
Caperal is now the sixth Ginebra player to win MIP honors next to Scottie Thompson (2018), Elmer Lago (1999), Pido Jarencio (1992), Rey Cuenco (1990), and Dante Gonzalgo (1989).