Spotlight on Fajardo down yet up
June Mar Fajardo
Spotlight on Fajardo down yet up
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Though out of commission for the coming PBA wars, San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo is expected to take the spotlight in the league’s Season 45 inaugurals as the likely winner of an unprecedented sixth MVP award.

Fajardo, who was forced out of action by a fractured shin he sustained in practice, leads a short list of candidates for the top individual plum the league will hand out during the season-opening Leo Awards ceremonies on March 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the Philippine Cup’s Best Player of the Conference and the statistical points topnotcher, is up against rookie sensation CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip, Jayson Castro of TNT KaTropa and Christian Standhardinger of NorthPort in the MVP derby.

Perez, the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year honors, placed second overall in SPs and emerged the PBA’s new scoring champion while Castro and Standhardinger were the top performers in the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup, respectively.

Fajardo’s appearance in the season-opening rites will probably be an emotional one as the Cebuano behemoth is embarking on his long road to recovery and is taking a backseat to stalwarts ready to break out of his shadow.

The MVP coronation serves as the highlight of the Leo’s, which fetes the best and brightest of the past season just before kicking off the new one.

Fajardo and Standhardinger headline the eight frontcourt operators who made the cut for spots in the Mythical Selection while Perez and Castro tow 12 backcourt players.

Japeth Aguilar, Sean Anthony, Troy Rosario, Ian Sangalang, Mo Tautuaa and Jeron Teng join Fajardo and Standhardinger in the race among forwards and centers.  

Robert Bolick, Alex Cabagnot, Paul Lee, Rashawn McCarthy, Chris Newsome, Roger Pogoy, Stanley Pringle, Chris Ross, Scottie Thompson and Matthew Wright crowd Perez and Castro for the guard positions.

Challenging Perez for the ROY accolade are Bolick, Javee Mocon, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and AbuTratter.

NOTES: TNT KaTropa officially acquired Poy Erram yesterday, getting the 6-foot-9 player via a complicated trade that involved NLEX and Blackwater which finally got the PBA approval. Under the approved deal, the Elite shipped Anthony Semerad, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and their 2020 first round pick and 2021 second round pick to the Road Warriors to get Erram.  The Elite then sent Erram to the KaTropa in exchange for Marion Magat, Yousef Taha, and TNT’s 2021 and 2022 first round picks.


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