Andaya

Who else but June Mar

June 11, 2024 Ed Andaya 232 views

TAKE your pick: June Mar Fajardo or Robert Bolick or Stephen Holt.

With defending champion San Miguel Beer and Meralco locked in a thrilling PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven title showdown, the battle for the coveted Best Player of the Conference award has narrowed down to only three names.

The winner will be known before Game 4 of the San Miguel-Meralco series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Of the three players, only Fajardo is left standing with his team, San Miguel, still in the thick of the fight for the All-Filipino crown.

The other two players — Bolick and Holt – are already out of it with NLEX and Terrafirma trooping to the exit door even before the playoffs.

That makes Fajardo, nicknamed the “Kraken” as the runaway favorite to win the award for a record 10th time since 2013.

The 6-10 center from Compostela, Cebu has already won the conference’s highest individual award nine times — 2013-14 Philippine Cup, 2014-15 Philippine Cup, 2015 Governors’ Cup, 2015-16 Philippine Cup, 2016-17 Philippine Cup, 2017-18 Philippine, 2018 Commissioner’s, 2019 Philippine Cup, and 2022 Philippine Cup.

Seven of those Best Player of the Conference plums came in the Philippine Cup.

This conference, Fajardo is doing it all again for San Miguel.

Fajardo, a seven-time PBA Most Valuable Player (2014-2019, 2023) accumulated 43.12 statistical points with averages of 17.3 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in leading San Miguel to a 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine in the semis.

Bolick, the consistent leader from the eliminations all the way to the playoffs, fell to No. 2 with 43.08 statistical points following the early ouster of NLEX in the playoffs.

The former San Beda stalwart, who is looking for his first-ever BPC crown, averages 28.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.5 assists.

A distant third is Holt, the 6-6 Fil-Am rookie guard of Terrafirma.

The Portland, Oregon-born Holt is running third in the race with 40.8 statistical points following an all-around numbers of 21.08 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in the Dyip’s first ever playoffs appearance since 2016.

Holt, the No.1 pick by Terrafirma in last year’s Draft, is also the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award.

But the Best Player of the Conference award is not limited to the three players.

CJ Perez of San Miguel and Christian Standhardinger of Barangay Ginebra.

The 6-2 Perez, who first captured the BPC award in the last PBA Commissioner’s Cup, is running fourth with 39.18 statistical points.

The 6-8 Standhardinger, who took the award twice already in the 2019 Governors’ Cup and 2023 Governors’ Cup, is fifth with 39.16 SPs.

Based on PBA rules, the winner will be determined based ona criteria composed of 45 percent average statistical points, 30 percent media votes, and 25 percent players’ votes.

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Happy birthday to my wife Liza, who celebrates her special day with family on June 11. Among her well-wishers is our three-year-old bundle of joy, Apollo Nathaniel…

Congratulations to the newly-elected officers of the Association of Philippine Journalists-Samahang Plaridel, headed by Evelyn Quiroz, who will be inducted by no less than Supreme Court Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Friday, June 14 at the Supreme Court of the Philippines En Banc Session Hall. The other new officers of the APJ-Samahang Plaridel are Andy Sevilla, Atty. Hector Villacorta, Joey de Guzman; Monch Henares, Jinky Jorgio, Weng Ocfemia, Twinkle Valdez; Vito Barcelo, Raymond Burgos, Ed Andaya, Milo Rivera, Klink Ang, Ron de los Reyes and Marc Anthony Reyes. Former President Rolly Estabillo is now Chairman Emeritus.

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