PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Standhardinger, Perez in tight battle for PBA Best Player award

Delfin Dioquino

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Standhardinger, Perez in tight battle for PBA Best Player award

BUMP. CJ Perez in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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After both building strong cases for the PBA Best Player of the Conference award, Christian Standhardinger looks to earn his third plum as CJ Perez eyes his first

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger and San Miguel’s CJ Perez figure in a tight race for the Best Player of the Conference award in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as they lead the statistical battle.

Standhardinger retained his No. 1 spot in the statistical points (SPs) ranking through the semifinals with an average of 35.7 SPs after chalking up 16.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5 assists in 15 games.

But Perez trailed Standhardinger closely with an average of 35.5 SPs as he put up 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.9 steals in 15 games.

Both players have made strong cases for the award given to the finest local of the conference, with Standhardinger looking to earn his third BPC plum and Perez eyeing his first.

Although he got contained to 13.3 points with 11 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the semifinals as the Gin Kings suffered a sweep at the hands of Perez and the Beermen, Standhardinger proved his worth as an all-around force.

Standhardinger ended the conference as the best local scorer and rebounder for Ginebra and ranked second in the team in assists behind Scottie Thompson.

Meanwhile, Perez took over for San Miguel in the eliminations when seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo went down with a knee injury and played a key role in the playoffs to propel the Beermen to the finals.

Perez normed 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.7 steals as the Beermen dealt the Gin Kings their first sweep loss in a best-of-five series since 2013.

NorthPort’s Arvin Tolentino placed third with 35.1 SPs after leading all local scorers with 22.4 points on top of 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.9 steals.

TNT’s Calvin Oftana (34.1 SPs) and Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson (31 SPs) rounded out the top five.

In the Best Import duel, San Miguel’s Bennie Boatwright claimed the top spot with 60.3 SPs as he averaged 35.6 points, 12 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1 block going into the finals.

Boatwright, though, played just seven games after coming in as a replacement for original Beermen import Ivan Aska.

Phoenix’s Johnathan Williams III placed second to Boatwright with 50.7 SPs built on his 24.5 points, 16.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks as he steered the Fuel Masters to their first semifinal appearance in an import conference.

Magnolia’s Tyler Bey also made a compelling argument for the Best Import plum after powering the Hotshots to the finals, doing so with averages of 26.9 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks for 50.6 SPs.

The winners will be awarded before Game 4 of the Commissioner’s Cup finals on February 9 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.