It seems like the Best Player of the Conference race is becoming a toss-up between San Miguel Beer teammates June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez.

CJ Perez (left) and June Mar Fajardo (PBA Images)

The two have tightened their grip on the Top 2 spots in the race with Fajardo, a six-time league MVP, sitting atop the leaderboard while Perez came in second according to the stats released at the end of quarterfinals of the all-Filipino conference.

Fajardo kept the lead with 42.7 statistical points while Perez was not too far behind with 39.7 SPs. The Ginebra trio of Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger completed the top 5 with 37.8, 33.1 and 32.8 SPs respectively.

However, Fajardo who is averaging 17.9 points, a league-best 13.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game, and Perez who has 17.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.4 steals, hold a huge advantage over the trio after the Beermen reached the semifinals while the Gin Kings were eliminated by the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinals.

Likewise, the NorthPort duo of Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo who placed sixth and seventh with 33.3 Sps and 32.6 sps were already out of contention after failing to make it to the playoffs.

The closest player who can threaten the two is Chris Newsome who is still in contention for the PH Cup crown with the Bolts and incidentally against Fajardo and Perez’s SMB. He currently sits at the eighth spot with 32.5 SPs on averages of 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.

Also catching up is Jio Jalalon who placed ninth with 32.5 SPs, averaging 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.2 steals. Rounding up the Top 10 is NLEX’s Calvin Oftana with 32.4 SPs.

In the rookie race, Blackwater’s Ato Ular has a firm hold at the top spot with 21.1 SPs after averaging 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. Crowding him in the Top 5 are Converge’s Justine Arana (21.5 SPs), NorthPort’s John Michael Calma (19.1 SPs), Tyler Tio of Phoenix (18.2 SPs), and FiberXers teammate Jeo Ambohot (17.9 SPs).


Source: Manila Bulletin (