MANILA, Philippines -- Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva remains on track for a second Best Player of the Conference award after the conclusion of the semifinals of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
"The Beast" accumulated an average of 34.2 statistical points after the Hotshots booked a berth in the best-of-seven finals by eliminating No. 2 seed Meralco Bolts in six games.
Abueva, who was acquired by Magnolia in a blockbuster offseason trade, is averaging 15.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.0 steal in 19 games so far for the Hotshots.
If he wins, this will be Abueva's first BPC award since the 2016 Commissioner's Cup, when he was still playing for the Alaska Aces.
The biggest threat to Abueva's bid for the BPC trophy is his own teammate and friend, Ian Sangalang, who has risen to third place after a superb performance in the semifinals with 33.0 SPs.
Sangalang ranks behind prolific NorthPort guard Robert Bolick, who is in second place with 33.7 SPs. However, Bolick's BPC candidacy suffered a blow after the Batang Pier exited in the quarterfinals against San Miguel.
The 6-foot-7 Sangalang is currently averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in helping the team reach the all-Filipino finals for the third time in the last four years.
Meanwhile, TNT rookie Mikey Williams fell from second to fourth place after struggling in their semifinals series against San Miguel Beer.
Williams, the fourth overall pick in this year's Rookie Draft, totaled 32.0 SPs behind averages of 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
Six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo rounds out the top five with 31.8 SPs, after averaging 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds in his first conference back since suffering a major leg injury in February 2020.