PBA: SMB's Fajardo, Perez pace Best Player race

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2022 01:25 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2022 01:33 PM

The San Miguel tandem of June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez are the leading candidates for the Best Player of the Conference award. PBA Images
The San Miguel tandem of June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez are the leading candidates for the Best Player of the Conference award. PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel teammates June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez continue to lead the way in the race for the Best Player of the Conference award for the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.

Fajardo, already an eight-time winner of the BPC plum, remains at No. 1 with a total statistical points of 42.7. Perez, a former Rookie of the Year, is in second place with 39.7 SPs, according to the latest tally released after the quarterfinals. 

The 32-year-old Fajardo is averaging 17.9 points, a league-best 13.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game in leading the top seeded Beermen past No. 8 Blackwater, to advance in the best-of-seven semis.

Meanwhile, Perez also posted impressive numbers of 17.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.4 steals to keep in step with Fajardo for the top individual plum.

The Barangay Ginebra trio of Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Christian Standhardinger occupy the next three spots in the list.

Thompson, the reigning league MVP, has a total of 37.8 SPs built around numbers of 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.5 steals, followed by Aguilar with 33.1 SPS behind averages of 17.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and a league-high 2.6 block shots. Standhardinger normed 14.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists for a total of 32.8 SPs.

However, with the Gin Kings bowing out at the quarterfinals, their players' chances of winning the BPC award were severely dented.

The duo of Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo also remained in the running despite NorthPort not making the playoffs.

Bolick accumulated 32. 63 SPs (18.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists) for sixth, followed closely by Malonzo with 32.60 SPs (17.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks).

Making a late case for the award is Meralco guard Chris Newsome who jumped three notches in the standings to make it at No. 8 with 32.5 SPs (16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists).

Magnolia's Jiovani Jalalon fell from fifth to a share of eighth with Newsome, after putting up 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.2 steals.

Calvin Oftana of NLEX rounded up the Top 10 with 32. 4 SPs (17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals).

In the list of top rookies, Blackwater's Ato Ular still leads the pack with 21.1 SPs (14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds), while at second is Justine Arana of Converge with 21.5 SPs.

Completing the Top 5 are NorthPort's John Michael Calma (19.1 SPs), Tyler Tio of Phoenix (18.2 SPs), and Converge's Jeo Ambohot (17.9 SPs). 

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