Winning individual awards are becoming a habit for June Mar Fajardo. After capturing the MVP trophy last year, the third year center of San Miguel Beer claimed his second PBA Philippine Cup MyPhone Best Player of the Conference (BPC) by beating Alaska’s controversial forward Calvin Abueva last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, who preferred to win more championships than gaining personal accolades, garnered a total of 1,141 points to edge out Abueva who collected 889 SPs. Former MVP and Fajardo’s teammate, Arwind Santos, came in third with 523 SPs. Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and SMB’s Alex Cabagnot finished fourth and fifth with 392 SPs and 390 SPs, respectively. Fajardo received the award prior to Game 4 of the SMB-Alaska Philippine Cup championship series, which the Aces lead 2-1 at presstime.
The Cebuano slotman, who won the BPC in last season’s Philippine Cup, had 480 SPs and a combined 661 total votes – 515 from the media, 71 from coplayers and 75 from the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
Through 15 matches that included the semifinal round where San Miguel Beer swept Talk ’N Text, Fajardo led the league with 19.2 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots. In the elimination round, Fajardo scored a career-high 36 points on 13- of-15 shooting from the field and 9-of-13 free throws in a 90-74 SMB win over expansion team Kia last Nov. 19.
In that same game, the 25-year-old Fajardo also collared 17 rebounds, one of nine straight games during the eliminations that he finished with a doubledouble. Fajardo’s BPC win somehow erased the Cebuano native’s bitter setback with his head-to-head to the 6-foot-2 Abueva when the latter was adjudged the 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year.