Marcial Best Player of the zconference awardee CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer celebrates with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, San Miguel officials Alfrancis Chua and Robert Non and teammates. Also in photo is Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Atty. Richard Clarin. PBA photo

Perez, Williams bag Best Player, Best Import awards

February 10, 2024 Robert Andaya 177 views

FORMER Rookie of the Year awardee CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer was named as the Best Player of the Conference of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Johnathan Williams of Phoenix Super LPG, on the other hand, was chosen as the Best Import.

The twin annoucements of the top individual awardees were made before Game 4 of the best-of-seven finals between San Miguel and Magnolia Chicken Timplados at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

A two-time PBA Mythical First Team and three-time scoring champion, Perez captured his first-ever BPC award in a colorful career that started in 2019 when he was drafted No. 1 overall by Terrafirma before moving to San Miguel two years later.

The 30-year-old former Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirate bagged the top individual award over Arvin Tolentino of Northport Batang Pier, Calvin Oftana of TNT Tropang Giga and Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger of Barangay Ginebra

The 6-2 pride of Bautista, Pangasinan received 1,055 votes — 505 Media, 464 from Statisticians and 45 from the players.

Perez also became only the eighth player in San Miguel colorful franchise history to emerge as BPC winner, joinng PBA legends Allan Caidic, Nelson Asaytono, Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso, Jay Washington, Arwind Santos, and June Mar Fajardo.

Fil-German Standhardinger finished with 777 votes for the second place, followed by Tolentino in third place with 559 votes, Oftana in fourth place with 472 votes and Thompson in fifth with 446 votes,

Former NBA player Williams, for his part, was named the Arena Plus – Best Import of the Conference.

Williams edged Tyler Bey of Magnolia, Bennie Boatwright of San Miguel and Tony Bishop of Barangay Ginebra for the top import award.

Wiliiams, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, garnered 1,017 votes — 554 from the statisticians, 424 from the media, and 39 from the players.

His closest rival — Bey — came in second with 908 votes.

Boatwright and Bishop wound up with 878 and 506 votes, respectively.

Williams, who led Phoenix to the semifinals this conference, became the first-ever Best Import winner of the franchise.

He also became the first Best Import winner who did not reach the finals since Arinze Onuaku of Meralco in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.

Williams, however, failed to attend the short awarding ceremony..