The ‘Kraken’ ahead of race for Season 47 MVP honors

WITH his tour-de-force performance in the PBA Philippine Cup, it’s not surprising that San Miguel Beer (SMB) titan June Mar Fajardo (JMF) took pole position in the race for the Season 47 MVP honors.

Mr. Fajardo, who swept the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) and Finals MVP plums en route to leading SMB to the coveted All-Filipino title, amassed 42.6 statistical points to lead the MVP derby after the opening tournament.

Back in top form after coming back from a shin injury, “the Kraken” posted averages of 18.7 points, a league-best 14.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 blocks in 26 games to make a strong case for the year’s top individual plum.

SMB teammate CJ Perez emerged as Mr. Fajardo’s premier rival for a record-extending seventh MVP.

The prolific fourth-year player, who finished second behind JMF in the BPC race, piled up 37.9 SPs built around 18.4 markers, 6.3 boards, 4.9 dimes and a league-high 2.5 steals, for No. 2.

Just a shade behind Perez was Season 46 MVP Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra, who ran third with 37.8 SPs (16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game).

Two other Gin Kings stalwarts — Japeth Aguilar at No. 4 with 33.1 (17 ppg, 8 rpg and a league-best 2.5 blocks) and Christian Standhardinger at fifth with 32.8 (14.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg) — cracked the Top 5.

NorthPort’s Robert Bolick sat at sixth with 32.63 ahead of teammate Jamie Malonzo (32.60), NLEX’ Calvin Oftana (32.4), last year’s top rookie Mikey Williams of TNT (31.9) and the Philippine Cup’s scoring champ, RR Pogoy also of the Tropang Giga (30.9). — Olmin Leyba