June Mar Fajardo of SMB | Jun Mendoza/File

SMB's Fajardo cinch for 4th PBA MVP award
Nelson Beltran (philstar.com) - September 27, 2017 - 3:57am

MANILA, Philippine – Dominant San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo is a strong bet for the Best Player of the Conference award and even a stronger candidate for the season Most Valuable Player honors.

Based on the stats, there seems to be no stopping the Cebuano gentle giant from extending his record reign as league MVP to four straight seasons.

Going into the Governors Cup playoffs, Fajardo sports a season cumulative average of 38.4 points – almost five points clear of the second-running Alex Cabagnot (33.5) also of San Miguel.

GlobalPort hotshot Terrence Romeo is at third with 32.0 SPs (statistical points) a game, another Beerman Arwind Santos is at fourth with 31.5 then TNT KaTropa main man Jason Castro rounds out the Top Five with 31.11.

Making up the next five are Ginebra center/forward Japeth Aguilar (31.06), San Miguel guard Chris Ross (30.7), GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle (30.6), Meralco’s Chris Newsome (30.2) and Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (30.1).

As the winner of the Philippine Cup BPC plum, Fajardo is already an official MVP candidate. The only the other automatic MVP contender is Ross, being the top individual player in the Commissioner’s Cup.

The balloting could become an all-San Miguel Beer affair, but Fajardo’s rivals may well just settle for crumbs.

Fajardo looks cinch to become the third PBA player to win four MVP honors after Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio.

The Rookie of the Year race looms as the exciting one.

Phoenix Petroleum’s Matthew Wright (26.07) is the stats leader, but TNT KaTropa’s Roger Pogoy (23.06) and Star’s Jio Jalalon (21.59) can still make a case for them in the Governors Cup playoffs.

Wright and his Phoenix Petroleum team have fallen by wayside. Jalalon and his Star team have advanced to the semifinals while Pogoy and TNT KaTropa team take a shot at the Final Four versus Rain or Shine.

The three contenders are all Gilas pool members who, in the course of the season, rendered services to the national team in the SEABA Championship, the Jones Cup and the FIBA Asia Cup.

Kevin Ferrer is a far fourth with 15.83, followed by Reden Celda (13.99), Ed Daquioag (13.43), Joseph Eriobu (12.9), Gelo Alolino (11.91), Mike Tolomia (11.89) and Jonathan Grey (10.23).

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