San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo was named the Nice Day Coffee-Best Player of the Conference (BPC) awardee, winning this latest hardware in convincing fashion before Game 4 of the Finals yesterday at the Philsports Arena (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.
The two-time league MVP garnered 490 Statistical Points, 505 media votes, 292 players’ votes and 150 votes from the Commissioner’s Office for a total of 1,407 points.
Fajardo bested former college rival and Ginebra center Greg Slaughter who placed second overall with 803 points.
Coming in at third is NLEX’s Sean Anthony who tallied 496 points while fellow Road Warrior Asi Taulava got 473 points. Barako Bull’s Willie Wilson finished fifth with 449.
The injured Fajardo, who did not show up from Games 1 to 3, personally accepted the award but was in street clothes.
The award was bittersweet for the Cebuano native whose left knee injury prevented him from playing in the best-of-seven finals series against Alaska.
Nevertheless, the fourth year SMB center said he is thankful for the award.
“Siyempre, grateful for the award. Pero kung titignan ko yung big picture, iyung championship sana dahil para sa buong team yun,” said Fajardo, who injured his left knee in Game 6 of the semifinals versus Rain or Shine.
“Gusto ko pa rin sana makalaro dito sa finals, pero nangyari ang hindi natin inaanasahan… hindi naman natin mako-control yung ganun (injury). Meron paring sakit na nararamdaman,” Fajardo added.
Fajardo led the conference in three departments as he averaged 26 points, 14.82 rebounds and 2.12 shot blocks.
San Miguel earned a return trip the finals after beating RoS in six games of their best-of-seven semifinal affair.
Looking forward, Fajardo said he can use the injury and the BPC as part of his motivation to guide the team in the next Commissioner’s Cup, which starts Feb. 10 with the Beermen parading Tyler Wilkerson as import.
In the Commissioner’s Cup last season, SMB failed to qualify in the playoffs after the team placed ninth – out of 12 teams as only eight advanced in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.