Seventh heaven: Cebuano Fajardo is Best Player of the Conference anew
Seven and counting.
That’s what the record for most Best Player of the Conference awards stands now after June Mar Fajardo, still playing at the peak of his abilities and with no equal in sight, won the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’s highest individual award as expected to grow his legend some more.
At 28 years old and as agile as a small forward, Fajardo has continued to redefine what a pure center is and has led San Miguel Beer to a modern day dynasty that – because of the 6-foot-10 Cebu native – has the potential to extend several more seasons.
After leading the Beermen to the Finals here, Fajardo was hands down the Masters Sardines-BPC, garnering a total of 1,153 points to win comfortably over Alaska’s Vic Manuel with GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle finishing third.
Fajardo finished No. 1 in the statistical points race and got all 37 first place votes from the covering media. He also got 17 of a possible 25 first place votes from fellow players and 150 points from the PBA.
Manuel was voted No. 2 in all 37 media ballots and got five first place votes from players for a total of 766.
Danny Ildefonso, a two-time MVP who played his best years with San Miguel and even mentored Fajardo in his last years with the Beermen, owns five BPCs, the second most all-time.
Even the Best Import race wasn’t close as Barangay Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee finally got the nod of the media and players to win his first such award.
After leading the Gin Kings to back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles and losing both times to Meralco’s Allen Durham, Brownlee was the runaway choice by the scribes with 33 out of 37 available first place votes.
He tallied 1209 points, with San Miguel’s Renaldo Balkman finishing with 858 and Reggie Johnson of losing semifinalist Rain or Shine third with 650 points.
Diamon Simpson, who came in late to help Alaska make the Final Four against San Miguel Beer, was fourth with 491 points.
Fajardo has also won the last four MVPs to tie the all-time mark jointly held by all-time greats Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.
And at the rate he is going – and after building a handsome lead in the season SP race – it looks like the former University of Cebu center is on his way to a fifth at the end of this season, a mark many feel will never be broken.
Sean Anthony of GlobalPort was a far fourth with 384 points with Chris Newsome of Meralco brining up the rear of the five-man roster of candidates with a 360-point total
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