SAN Miguel teammates June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez kept their stranglehold of the top two spots in the heated race for the PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference.
Fajardo remained no. 1 in the standings with a total statistical points of 42.7, while Perez is not far behind at second with 39.7 statistical points as per the latest stats released at the end of the quarterfinal round.
The 32-year-old Fajardo is averaging 17.9 points, a league-best 13.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game in leading the top seeded Beermen past no. 8 Blackwater to advance in the best-of-seven semis.
Meanwhile, Perez also posted impressive numbers of 17.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.4 steals to crowd out his 6-foot-11 teammate for the highest individual award of the conference.
The Barangay Ginebra trio of Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Christian Standhardinger occupy the next three spots in that order to make it to the Top 5 list.
Thompson, the reigning league MVP, has a total of 37.8 sps built around numbers of 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.5 steals, followed by Aguilar with 33.1 sps behind averages of 17.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and a league-high 2.6 block shots, while Standhardinger normed 14.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists for a total of 32.8 sps.
Unfortunately, the failure of the Kings to go deeper into the playoffs following a quarterfinals exit against Meralco, definitely hurt the chances of the three for the BPC plum.
The duo of Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo also remained in the running despite NorthPort not making the playoffs.
Bolick accumulated 32. 63 sps (18.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists) for sixth, followed closely by Malonzo with 32.60 sps (17.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks).
Making a late case for the award is Meralco guard Chris Newsome who jumped three notches in the standings to make it at no. 8 with 32.5 (16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists).
The same can't be said of Magnolia's Jio Jalalon as the pesky guard fell from fifth to a tie for eighth and ninth with Newsome behind a similar 32.5 sps (12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.2 steals).
Calvin Oftana of NLEX rounded up the Top 10 with 32. 4 sps (17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals).
In the list of top rookies, Blackwater's Ato Ular still leads the pack with 21.1 sps (14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds), while at second is Justine Arana of Converge with 21.5 sps.
Completing the Top 5 are NorthPort's John Michael Calma (19.1 sps), Tyler Tio of Phoenix (18.2 sps), and Converge's Jeo Ambohot (17.9 sps). (RG)