San Miguel Beer big man June Mar Fajardo and Alaska’s flamboyant forward Calvin Abueva, two of the brightest stars to come from the 2012 draft class, share center stage when the PBA Press Corps pays tribute to the league’s top athletes in its annual Awards Night next week at the Century Park Hotel.
Only in his third season as a pro, the 6-foot-10 Fajardo has emerged as a formidable force in the paint, making him the hands-down choice for the Gerry’s Grill-Defensive Player of the Year award.
The former University of Cebu star went on to finish the season with a career-high 17.4 points, to go along with league-best numbers of 12.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
More importantly, the pride of Pinamungahan, Cebu served as the force behind San Miguel’s championship conquests after ruling last season’s Philippine Cup and Governors Cup, respectively.
His overpowering performance all season long culminated with a second straight league MVP trophy.
On the other hand, Abueva, the 2013 Rookie of the Year, was named Mr. Quality Minutes for providing the much-needed spark for Alaska, which finished the 40th season with a pair of runner-up finishes in the all-Filipino conference and Governors Cup.
Highlighting the annual event is the presentation of the Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of the Year award, named after the legendary Crispa Redmanizers mentor dubbed as ‘The Maestro.’ Other major awards to be handed out are the Danny Floro Executive of the Year award, a tribute to the late team manager of the legendary Crispa franchise, along with the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year award held in honor of the former three-time league MVP.
The PBA Press Corps president Barry Pascua of Bandera said he expects the pro league top honchos led by new president and CEO Chito Salud and commissioner Chito Narvasa, along with incoming chairman Robert Non to join the two-hour long celebration.