History beckons for San Miguel Beer’s superstar center June Mar Fajardo, who is poised to become just the third player to win four PBA Most Valuable Player awards and first ever to win it four years in a row.
At the end of the Governors’ Cup semifinals, The Kraken had amassed an average of 58.38 statistical points (SPs) per game in 56 games, putting him way ahead of his closest pursuer, teammate Alex Cabagnot, who had an average of 32.96 SPs also over 56 games.
In third place was GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo with 32.01 SPs in 31 games, while fourth place was occupied by TNT’s Jayson Castro with 31.52 SPs in 54 games. Completing the top five was another Beerman, Arwind Santos, with 30.97 SPs in 58 games.
Rounding out the top 10 were Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar (30.85), GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle (30.63), SMB’s Chris Ross (30.40), Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (30.11), and SMB’s Marcio Lassiter (29.55).
Occupying 11th to 20th spots were Meralco’s Chris Newsome, Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, Barangay Ginebra’s Joe Devance, NLEX’s Alex Mallari, GlobalPort’s Sean Anthony, Star’s Paul Lee, Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, and TNT’s Kelly Williams.
According to league rules, the Mythical First and Second Teams will be chosen from among these top 20 players. Fajardo and Ross are also automatically shortlisted for the MVP award voting as BPC winners this season. Whoever wins the Governors’ Cup BPC, which will be announced before Game 2 of the Ginebra-Meralco finals, will join them. Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, Newsome and Castro are the top choices.
Fajardo is set to join Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio as the only four-time MVP winners. However, the six-ten slotman will become the only player to win four straight. Last year he already became the first to win three straight.
Fernandez won in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1988, each time with a different team. Patrimonio won in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1997, all with the only franchise he played for in his stellar career, the Purefoods Hotdogs.
At no. 14, Wright was the only rookie to crack the top 20, making him the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. In second place was TNT’s RR Pogoy, followed by Star’s Jio Jalalon, Ginebra’s Kevin Ferrer, and Kia’s Reden Celda.
The 2017 PBA Leo Awards will be held before Game 4 of the Governors’ Cup Finals.