San Miguel Beer slotman June Mar Fajardo’s bid for a historic 3rd straight PBA Most Valuable Player plum is being seriously threatened with fellow Cebuano and Barangay Ginebra Greg Slaughter hanging at his coattails in the latest MVP statistical points released at the end of the Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the best big man the league has ever seen in over a decade, leads the MVP statistically with with 27.52 points, just 0.1 ahead of Slaughter.
The young San Miguel star center won his 2nd straight MVP trophy last season to join the elite company that includes Danny Ildefonso (2000 and 2001), Alvin Patrimonio (1993 and 1994) and Bogs Adornado (1975 and 1976).
Historically, the rivalry of both big men have gone a long way since their celebrated collegiate tussle in the Cesafi (Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc.) nearly a decade ago.
Fajardo, then playing for University of Cebu, regularly faced Slaughter’s powerhouse University of Visayas in the Cesafi Finals.
There’s no doubt that the 27-year-old Slaughter is a serious threat to Fajardo’s bid for a 3rd MVP trophy as evidenced by his PBA career-high stats line of 20.16 points, 11.96 rebounds, 2.04 assists and 1.36 blocks this season.
Meantime, NLEX Fil-Am forward Sean Anthony is at a a distant 3rd in the MVP race with 23.1 SPs, while GlobalPort’s star combo guard Terrence Romeo (22.8) and Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (22.4) occupy 4th and 5th, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 for the MVP derby are Tropang TNT guard Jayson Castro (22.1), NLEX big man Asi Taulava (21.8), GlobalPort Fil-American playmaker Stanley Pringle (21.7), Phoenix’s Willy Wilson (20.9) and San Miguel forward Arwind Santos (20.5).
Meanwhile, Tropang TNT forward Troy Rosario leads by a huge margin in the Rookie of the Year statistical race with 16.58 SPs, with Meralco wingman Chris Newsome a distant 2nd at 16.0.
Blackwater’s Art Dela Cruz is at 4th with 14.77 SPs while last year’s top rookie pick languishing at 5th spot with 13.76. – By Richard Dy
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