June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez of San Miguel lead the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference race at the end of the eliminations following the Beermen’s top seed finish with a 9-2 record.

(From left) Scottie Thompson, June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez (PBA Images)

Fajardo is making a strong case for a record ninth BPC plum, piling up a 43.2 average statistical points to take the lead followed by Perez who had 39.5 SPs. Reigning season MVP Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra came in third with 37.9.

Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon round up the Top 5, collecting 34.2 and 34.1 SPs respectively.

Fajardo is on track of winning his first silverware since 2019 after averaging 18.5 points, a league-leading 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, one steal and one block per contest. Keeping in pace with Fajardo, however, is Perez who is also one of the vital cogs to SMB’s splendid run in the elimination, scattering an all-around effort of 17.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.5 steals.

Trailing the Beermen duo is Thompson who continues to provide steady presence for the third seed Kings, scattering 15.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals. Aguilar posted 16.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg and a league-leading 2.5 bpg while Jalalon shone bright for the Hotshots with 13.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, tournament-best 6.9 apg, and 2.5 spg.

Just sitting outside the Top 5 are Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger (33.3), NorthPort’s Robert Bolick (32.63) and Jamie Malonzo (32.60), NLEX’s Calvin Oftana (32.1), and TNT’s RR Pogoy (31.2).

In the rookie race, Blackwater rookie Ato Ular stood tall among the freshmen with 27.2 SPs. The 27-year-old Letran standout helped the Bossing turn their conference around following the infamous 29-game losing streak last season.

Ular, who was picked 13th overall in the last rookie draft, averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds as Blackwater had its best All-Filipino Cup start with a 5-1 slate before settling for the eight seed in the elimination with a 5-6 record.

Converge’s Justin Arana trails Ular with 22.1 SPs while frontcourt partner Jeo Ambohot came in third with 19.1. NorthPort’s JM Calma and Phoenix’s Tyler Tio completed the Top 5 with 19.09 and 18.2, respectively.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/07/24/smbs-fajardo-perez-lead-bpc-race/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=smbs-fajardo-perez-lead-bpc-race)