MANILA, Philippines – Pampanga natives Arwind Santos of Petron and Calvin Abueva of Alaska are two of the top contenders for the Best Player of the Conference award at the end of the semi-final round of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Santos, Petron’s do-it-all power forward, averaged 17.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks per game en route to an average of 35.1 statistical points (SPs) per game, good for No. 1 in the league.
But Abueva is not far behind. The Aces’ hardworking rookie normed 14.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per game to average 31.0 SPs.
Abueva, the No. 2 pick in last year’s Rookie Draft, has a chance to become the first rookie in 14 years to win the Best Player crown. His chances of winning the award improved after leading the Aces to the semi-finals, where they lost to Talk 'N Text in six games.
San Miguel’s Danny Seigle was the last rookie to win a Best Player award, achieving the feat during the 1999 Governors Cup.
Meanwhile, Santos is gunning for his second Best Player award after winning it for the first time in the 2011 Governors Cup.
Also among the top contenders for the Best Player crown is Meralco’s Solomon Mercado, who led the league in points (19.1) and assists (6.7) per game last conference and averaged 30.3 SPs.
Rounding out the top five are Talk 'N Text’s Jayson Castro (29.6 SPs) and Ranidel de Ocampo (27.8 SPs).
The criteria for the selection of the Best Player is as follows: 40% statistics,30% media votes, 25% players votes and 5% Commissioner’s Office vote.
Voting begins on Wednesday, and the award will be given on Game 4 of the Finals.