Sep 28, 2023

MVP race wide open among Scottie, JMF, C-Stan, CJ

IT'S an exciting race to the top as reigning MVP holder Scottie Thompson, record six-time winner June Mar Fajardo and two other worthy candidates duke it out for the top individual honors in PBA Season 47.

The best of the best will be feted during the 47th Season PBA Annual Awards that precede the 48th season opener on Nov. 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Thompson is in the running for a rare back-to-back MVP feat but also in there as strong contenders are Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger and CJ Perez - three are Best Player of the Conference winners while the fourth candidate contended for the BPC plum in all three tourneys.

Fajardo claimed the all-Filipino BPC award in San Miguel's title run in the first conference, Thompson was the gold standard in their own championship in the Governors Cup while Standhardinger was the best player in the third conference.

In the mix in all BPC races in the season was Perez.

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On stats, Fajardo was on top with 42.2 statistical points (SPs) per outing. Perez was second with 36.1 followed by Thompson with 35.5 and Standhardinger with 33.6.

Being MVP candidates, the four are automatically in the race for Mythical Selection.

Thompson and Perez are in the mix in guard spots with Maverick Ahanmisi, Kevin Alas, Aaron Black, Robert Bolick, Jayson Castro, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy and Mikey Williams.

Contending for center/forward positions with Fajardo and Standhardinger are Calvin Abueva, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, Jeron Teng, Arvin Tolentino and Don Trollano.

Another exciting derby is the fight for Rookie of the Year award among Renato Ular (23.8), Justin Arana (22.7), Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser (22.1), Tyler Tio (19.8) and Gian Mamuyac.

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Also to be handed out during the awards rites also known as Leo Awards are the Most Improved Player plum, the Sportsmanship Award and the All-Defensive Team.

Ahanmisi, Malonzo, Tolentino, Trollano and RK Ilagan are disputing the MIP honors while Alas, Black, Castro, Fajardo, Thompson and Paul Zamar are contenders for the Sportsmanship award. (SB)