June Mar Fajardo’s quest for a historic fifth straight Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum is in danger after yielding the statistical race lead to Stanley Pringle at the end of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup eliminations.
After topping the race all year long, Fajardo slid to second spot with a cumulative average of 33.2 statistical points (SPs) while Pringle stole the driver seat with 35.5 SPs.
Fajardo’s lead melted when he was forced to sit out majority of the season-ending conference due to a shin injury that he suffered in the Commissioner’s Cup.
He saw action in just two games for San Miguel Beer, where he averaged a dismal 1.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist for just 11.0 points addition to his cumulative SPs.
Northport’s Pringle, on the other hand, sizzled this conference with an all-around average of 20.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.5 steals to be a serious contender for the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award.
With both San Miguel and Northport already out of contention, the four-time MVP may still have the inside track for the season’s highest individual plum due to his BPC wins in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup.
Meanwhile, Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar is just lurking at third place with 32.9 points while Sean Anthony also from Northport is at fourth spot with 31. 3 points.
Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP Scottie Thompson of the Kings also made it to top five with 30.8 points to highlight his breakout year and bolster his case for the Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Rounding out the top 10 are Phoenix’s Matthew Wright (30.6), San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot (30.2), Arwind Santos (30.0), Marcio Lassiter (29.9) and Alaska’s Vic Manuel (29.0).
Over at Rookie of the Year race, Jason Perkins of Phoenix amassed 23.4 points for good lead against his former La Salle teammate and current Alaska player Jeron Teng with 18.3 points.
Rookie favorites Christian Standhardinger of San Miguel and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX, meanwhile, are out from that ROY race due to the lack of required minimum number of games played despite racking up heavy averages.
The Filipino-German Standhardinger missed the Philippine Cup due to his prior Asean Basketball League commitment with Hongkong while Ravena has long been out since May of this year due to a 24-month FIBA suspension.