Pringle at forefront of PBA MVP race, Fajardo running 2nd

MANILA, Philippines – As the PBA wrapped up its 43rd season, NorthPort's Stanley Pringle and San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo battle for the Most Valuable Player award. 

Pringle maintained his hold on the top spot in the statistical race by tallying an average of 35.5 statistical points (SPs) while Fajardo trailed at 2nd place with an average of 33.1 SPs.

If the Batang Pier star ends up with the league's top individual plum, he would deny the San Miguel giant a historic fifth straight MVP. 

Fajardo led the MVP race after the Philippine and Commissioner's Cups but was edged by Pringle following a shin injury that sidelined him for a big chunk of the Governors' Cup. 

Pringle tallied a conference-best 34.0 SPs in the Governors' Cup while Fajardo recorded just 10.67 SPs after playing in only 3 games. 

Fajardo, though, is still a favorite to win MVP after bagging two Best Player of the Conference (BPC) awards this season. 

Barangay Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar amassed 32.3 SPs, NorthPort's Sean Anthony garnered 31.3 SPs while Phoenix's Matthew Wright collected 30.0 SPs to land at 3rd, 4th and 5th places, respectively. 

Rounding out the top 10 are San Miguel's Marcio Lassiter (29.8), Arwind Santos (29.77) and Alex Cabagnot (29.74), Ginebra's Scottie Thompson (29.6) and Blackwater's Poy Erram (28.5). 

Despite being at 14th place, Magnolia's Paul Lee (27.47) also contends for the MVP award following his maiden BPC triumph in the Governors' Cup. 

Meanwhile, Phoenix's Jason Perkins is groomed to be this season's Rookie of the Year. 

Perkins averaged 23.2 SPs, almost 5 points ahead of 2nd-running Jeron Teng of Alaska (18.7). 

Top draft picks Christian Standhardinger of San Miguel and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX are not eligible for the yearly honor since they did not play the required minimum number of games this season. –

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.