By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – June Mar Fajardo currently has an inside track of winning the 2023 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
In a copy of the statistical points (SPs) amassed by the top contenders for the MVP award given to media outlets, the San Miguel center, the only player to win six MVP awards in PBA history, is leading with 28.9 SPs through the Commissioner’s Cup.
Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson, the reigning MVP, is second with 24.9, while Beerman CJ Perez is third with 24.6.
NorthPort Batang Pier Robert Bolick is fourth with 23.2, while Gin King Jamie Malonzo is fifth with 21.9.
On the other hand, Blackwater’s Ato Ular remains the top contender for the Rookie of the Year award even as he too cracked into the Top 20 among all players this season, which also puts him in a position to possibly win a Mythical Selection.
Ular is 20th overall with 17.8 SPs, slightly behind Converge’s Maverick Ahanmisi (17.9), but the six-foot-four forward is ahead of Ahanmisi’s teammate Justine Arana (16.2) for the top freshman award.
Phoenix Fuel Master Tyler Tio is third among rookies with 14.2, while Rain Or Shine Elasto Painter Gian Mamuyac is fourth with 13.2.
In a corrected copy of the stats given on Friday, NLEX Road Warrior Brandon Rosser is fifth with 12.8, Fuel Master Encho Serrano is sixth with 11.8, FiberXer Jeo Ambohot is seventh with 9.564, Batang Pier JM Calma is eighth with 9.556, and Terrafirma Dyip’s Javi Gomez De Liaño is ninth with 7.6.
With the PBA Governors’ Cup already underway and the votes from the media and players still up for grabs, the races for the top individual honors remain wide open. (PNA)