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Fajardo on pace for historic sixth MVP plum but Standhardinger, Castro, and Perez stand in way

by Reynald Magallon, January 28, 2020 10:21pm

Five-time MVP and San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo may be on pace for a historic sixth-straight Most Valuable Player award after leading in the statistical points average at the end of the season but he'll have a tough competition this time around as Northport Batang Pier big man Christian Standhardinger, TNT Katropa's Jayson Castro and Columbian Dyip rookie CJ Perez all standing on his way.

It will be a four-way slugfest for the top award for the 44th Season of the PBA which will be handed out in the Leo Awards before the opening ceremony of the 45th Season of the league on March 1.

Photo by PBA

Fajardo led all players with a 39.6 statistical point average and his bid for the plum was further strengthened by the Beermen's two championships and a Best Player of the Conference award in the Philippine Cup last season.

Meanwhile, Jayson Castro who came in fifth in the statistical race with a 31.5 SPs also made a strong case for himsel after guiding the Katropa to a bridesmaid finish in the Commissioner's Cup while also bagging the BPC plum on the same conference.

Photo by Courtside Philippines

Standhardinger, despite finishing just 16th in the statistics with 26.7 SPs, made it to the nominees for the MVP plum by virtue of his BPC award in the Governors' Cup after helping the Batang Pier to an improbable run that saw them beat the top-seed NLEX as the eight seed after the eliminations.

Photo by PBA

Perez on the other hand, despite his Dyip repeatedly falling short of a playoff finish made a good account of himself after being included in the BPC race in two of the three conferences.

In fact, Perez emerges as the league's scoring champ unloading 20 points per outing with Phoenix Fuel Masters' Matthew Wright coming insecond with 18.89 Ppg. Fajardo rounded out the top 3 in scoring with 18.87 points.

Photo by PBA

Batang Pier's Sean Anthony came in third in the stat race with 33.46 followed by Ginebra's Stanley Pringle with 31.8 and TNT's RR Pogoy with 31.7.

Japeth Aguilar (29.9), Wright (29.0), Ian Sangalang (28.7) and Mo Tautuaa (27.5) round out the top 10.

Other making the list are Troy Rosario, Scottie Thompson, Alex Cabagnot, Robert Bolick, Rashawn McCarthy, Jeron Teng, Chris Ross and Paul Lee.

Also included were LA Tenorio, Poy Erram, Chris Bancher, ARwind Santos and Greg Slaughter.

The Mythical First Team and Second Team will be chosen from the Top 25 players of the past season.

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