Will it be another coronation night for June Mar Fajardo?
The 7-foot center of San Miguel Beer is the heavy favorite to win a fourth consecutive MVP plum when the PBA honors the top performers during the 2017 Leo Awards today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Already a record holder with three straight MVP awards, Fajardo is again at the forefront of the race after he topped the Statistical Points (SP) department with 38.58 SPs after the semifinal round of the Governors’ Cup.
The native of Pinamungahan, Cebu averaged 17.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 shot blocks this season, and helped San Miguel capture two championships – the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner’s Cup.
During the All-Filipino tournament, Fajardo won his fifth Best Player of the Conference (BPC) plum, which made him an automatic candidate for the MVP. He is seeking to become only the third player to win four MVPs.
Ramon Fernandez did the trick first by winning it in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988 seasons, while Alvin Patrimonio followed suit by lording it over in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1997.
Also in the MVP race are SMB guards Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.
Cabagnot is a far second with 32.96 SPs, while Ross is at No. 8 with 30.40 SPs although he made it as an outright candidate after winning the BPC award in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot Cabagnot averaged 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals this season, while the 6-foot-2 Ross has 8.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Aside from the MVP award, also to be given in the PBA Leo Awards are Mythical First and Second teams, All-Defensive five, Most Improved, Rookie of the Year and Sportsmanship Award.
The Leo Awards is set today at 5 p.m., or before Game 4 of the finals series in the Governors’ Cup title-showdown series between Ginebra and Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.