Reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer emerged as the leading contender for the Best Player of the Conference at the conclusion of the PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round.
Fajardo compiled 35.1 Statistical Points after averaging 15.5 points, 12.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 11 games, leading the Beermen to the No. 2 seed in the playoffs with an 8-3 record.
The 6-foot-10 center from Cebu had already won the Best Player award during the Philippine Cup when San Miguel captured its 20th crown with a seven-game victory over Alaska in the finals.
But Fajardo’s bid to win the said award could be put in jeopardy if the Beermen fail to defeat the Meralco Bolts in their quarterfinal duel being played at presstime.
Despite being ranked No. 7 after the elims, Meralco forced a rubber match with a 106-99 victory last Saturday.
The winner of last night’s match will face Rain or Shine in a best-of-five semifinal series which starts on Thursday.
Ranked second in the Best Player race is Globalport’s Terrence Romeo with 34.9 SP followed by teammate and Rookie of the Year candidate Stanley Pringle with 30.4 SP.
Romeo leads the conference in scoring with 23.3 points while Pringle, who was chosen No. 1 by the Batang Pier in last year’s draft, averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals.
Despite leading their team to its best performance since joining the league in 2012, Romeo and Pringle failed to power Globalport to its first semifinal appearance when it lost to defending champion Star in the quarterfinals despite a twice-to-beat advantage.
NLEX’s Asi Taulava and Talk ‘N Text Jayson Castro, who won the Best Player plum in the Commissioner’s Cup are tied for fourth and fifth places with 28.0 SP each despite their respective teams missing the playoffs.