Philippine basketball

June Mar Fajardo leads MVP race as Scottie Thompson, CJ Perez trail

Delfin Dioquino
June Mar Fajardo leads MVP race as Scottie Thompson, CJ Perez trail

KRAKEN. June Mar Fajardo has won a record six PBA MVP plums.

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Six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo finishes first in statistical points through the first two conferences of the PBA season

MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo is on track for a record-extending seventh PBA MVP award as he topped the statistical race through the first two conferences this season.

The San Miguel big man averaged 28.9 statistical points (SPs) built on season averages of 18.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks to edge Barangay Ginebra star Scottie Thompson and Beermen teammate CJ Perez.

Reigning MVP Thompson came in at second place with 24.9 SPs, while Perez wound up at third place with 24.6 SPs.

Fajardo started the season on a roll as he led the Beermen to the Philippine Cup championship, clinching his ninth Best Player of the Conference (BPC) crown and his fourth Finals MVP plum along the way.

Although Fajardo missed a huge chunk of the Commissioner’s Cup after undergoing surgery for his throat, he still anchored San Miguel to the semifinals before they fell prey to guest team Bay Area.

Meanwhile, Thompson claimed the BPC honors in the Commissioner’s Cup and captured his seventh PBA title with the Gin Kings as they outlasted the Dragons in the best-of-seven finals that went the distance.

Thompson averaged 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.8 steals in 39 games this season.

Forming a formidable tandem with Fajardo, Perez normed 18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2 steals in 44 games to crack the MVP talk.

NorthPort’s Robert Bolick (23.2 SPs) and Ginebra’s Jamie Malonzo (21.9 SPs) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the list.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger (21.1 SPs), TNT’s Mikey Williams (20.6 SPs), Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar (20.4 SPs), NLEX’s Don Trollano (20.3 SPs), and TNT’s Roger Pogoy (20.28 SPs).

In the rookie battle, Blackwater’s Ato Ular seized the lead with 17.8 SPs after averaging 12.3 points and 9 rebounds in the first two conferences.

Ular also placed 20th in the statistical duel for the MVP award.

Converge’s Justin Arana (16.2 SPs) and Phoenix’s Tyler Tio (14.2 SPs) trail Ular. –

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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.