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MANILA, Philippines – CJ Perez and Jayson Castro bannered the first batch of players who will be feted by the PBA Press Corps in its Awards Night set on November 20 at the Novotel Manila in Quezon City.
San Miguel’s Perez will be crowned the Scoring Champion, while TNT’s Castro will claim the Order of Merit from the group of men and women who cover the PBA beat.
Perez led the PBA in scoring last season, averaging 18.75 points as he helped the Beermen capture the Philippine Cup crown and reach the semifinals in the two other conferences.
It will be the third scoring title in four seasons for Perez, who edged Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson (18.7 points) for the honor.
Perez, who also won the award in 2019 and 2020, will move into a tie with San Miguel teammate Terrence Romeo, Eric Menk, Ricardo Brown, Alvin Patrimonio, and Mark Caguioa as three-time scoring champions.
Only Allan Caidic (5) and Gary David (4) have more scoring titles.
Meanwhile, Castro will capture his second Order of Merit, an award given to the player with the most number of Player of the Week citations.
In the process, Castro will pull level with San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Magnolia’s Paul Lee, and Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio for most Order of Merit wins.
Castro, still playing at a high level at 37 years old, initially ended up on a tie with Perez, Magnolia’s Mark Barroca, Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger, and Phoenix’s Encho Serrano with two Player of the Week selections each.
But the PBA Press Corps gave Castro the nod, owing to his back-to-back Player of the Week awards during the semifinal stretch of the Philippine Cup against the Hotshots.
The opener of the Philippine Cup finals between TNT and San Miguel, where Castro and Perez both starred, will be recognized as the Game of the Season.
In that game, Perez finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Castro posted 15 points and 3 rebounds.
Castro, though, got the last laugh as he hit the buzzer-beating game-winner to propel the Tropang Giga to an 86-84 victory in the best-of-seven series. – Rappler.com