PBA: So who wins Best Player of the Conference now?
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 31, 2019 09:23 AM
The Best Player of the Conference derby heads to a curious finish, with not a single player from finalists Barangay Ginebra and Meralco making the Top Five in the stats race. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)The fight for the coveted individual plum in the PBA Governors’ Cup is a virtual barroom brawl.
The Best Player of the Conference derby heads to a curious finish, with not a single player from finalists Barangay Ginebra and Meralco making the Top Five in the stats race.
San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Columbian Dyip super rookie CJ Perez, NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger, NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro slug it out in the BPC rumble.
Meanwhile, two-time Governors’ Cup Best Import winner Allen Durham and one-time Commissioner’s Cup top reinforcement Justin Brownlee are again chief rivals for the coveted ware.
With outside chances for the Best Import honors are TNT’s KJ McDaniels and NorthPort’s Michael Qualls.
But it could well be either Durham or Brownlee as they’ve remained class acts, with their topnotch performances leading to a third finals duel in the season-ending tourney.
The BPC award is a toss-up among Fajardo, Perez, Standhardinger, Ravena and Castro – all with strong cases to win the award.
Fajardo (with an average of 38.8 stats points) narrowly won the stats race over Perez (37.2), the season’s top draft selection who made good impression all season long, including in the Governors’ Cup where he showed the way in scoring (23.2) and in steals (2.5).
Standhardinger (35.1 SPs) and Castro (31.6 SPs) were two candidates who were able to carry their teams to the semis while Ravena earned taps on the back with his fine showing coming from his long FIBA suspension.
Three Ginebra stalwarts in Stanley Pringle (30.8), Japeth Aguilar (29.9) and LA Tenorio (28.0) narrowly missed the Magic Five together with TNT’s RR Pogoy (30.4) and Meralco’s Chris Newsome (29.8).
Tied with Tenorio at 10th spot was Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang (28.0) then came another rookie in Bobby Ray Parks (27.5), followed by Raymond Almazan (27.4), Jeth Troy Rosario (27.0) and Matthew Wright (26.8) to round out the Top 15.
Fajardo collected averages of 19.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks to contend for a second BPC award in the season following his BPC coronation in the all-Filipino tourney.
Meanwhile, Castro, the Commissioner’s Cup best player, normed 14.9 markers, 5.9 dish-offs, 4.4 boards and 1.7 steals.