Rookies Parks, Perez lead pack in Best Player race

MANILA, Philippines – A changing of the guard? 

The crop of top young PBA players made immediate impact as rookies Ray Parks and CJ Perez emerged as the leaders in the statistical race through the quarterfinals of the Commissioner's Cup. 

Parks, the second overall pick, wound up with the highest stastical points (SPs) of 37.2 behind his averages of 22.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks to go with his 80 won-game bonus points for Blackwater.

Meanwhile, Perez accumulated 36.1 SPs as he led the league in scoring with 22.7 points per game for Columbian.

While Perez had an edge on Parks in points, assists (3.9 apg), and steals (1.8 spg), his 30 won-game bonus points made the difference.

TNT's Jayson Castro (35.1 SPs) and Roger Pogoy (33.2) finished at 3rd and 5th places, respectively, while San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo (33.8) landed at 4th place.

But with Perez and Parks' squads already eliminated – with Blackwater crashing out of the quarterfinals and Columbian failing to make the playoffs – Castro, Fajardo, and Pogoy can improve their rankings with their teams in the semifinals. 

Rounding out the stat leaders are NorthPort's Robert Bolick (32.46), Sean Anthony (32.45), and Mo Tautuaa (30.9), who placed 6th, 7th, and 9th, respectively, while Alaska's Chris Banchero (31.1) ranked 8th, and Phoenix's Matthew Wright (29.9) completed the top 10.

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.