GLOBALPORT scoring dynamo Terrence Romeo could pose a big threat to San Miguel Beer slotman June Mar Fajardo for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award.
Romeo, the leading scorer after the elimination round with 28.7 points per game, finished second in the statistical points (SPs) average behind the six-foot-10 Fajardo, the reigning three-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the league.
Fajardo compiled a 45.0 SPs average after the 11-game elimination phase built around his 19.9 points per game and a league-leading 16 rebounds per contest.
But Romeo was not too far behind as the former Far Eastern University standout ranked second with 41.5 SPs average. The GlobalPort guard is also averaging a second-best 6.2 assists per game.
His chances of nailing his BPC honor depends on how far Batang Pier could go in the Philippine Cup. GlobalPort is currently trailing TNT KaTropa in their best-of-three quarterfinal series, 0-1.
Meanwhile, Fajardo’s Beermen finished No. 1 in the elimination phase and hold a twice-to-beat advantage against Rain or Shine in their own quarterfinal match-up, which was being played as of press time.
If the Cebuano big man wins the BPC award, he will join former San Miguel great Danny Ildefonso in the all-time list of BPC winners with five. Currently, Fajardo is tied with Katropa’s Jayson Castro at No. 2 spot in the list with four BPCs apiece.
“It shows that our team is not a one-man show,” Fajardo told The Manila Times in Filipino. “But the ultimate goal is to win our third straight Philippine Cup title.”
Three more San Miguel players were in the top 10 in the SPs category with Arwind Santos, a two-time BPC winner, running third with 34.2 SPs average and Beermen southpaw guard Alex Cabagnot finishing fourth with 33.4. Rounding up the top five was Barangay Ginebra San Miguel forward Japeth Aguilar (32.0).
Matthew Wright was the only rookie in the top 10 of the BPC race as the Phoenix neophyte ended up sixth with 31.7 SPs average built around his 17.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Alaska’s Calvin Abueva followed him at No. 7 with 30.6 SPs average and San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter was at eighth spot with 30.5. Rounding up the top 10 were Mahindra’s Alex Mallari (29.5) and last year’s Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome (29.3) of Meralco.
The SPs have a 40 percent value in the BPC voting that also includes media votes (30 percent), players’ votes (25) and the PBA Commissioner’s Office (five).
Trailing Wright for the Rookie of the Year honor are Blackwater’s Mac Belo (27.7), Star’s Jio Jalalon (23.2), Katropa’s RR Pogoy (18.5) and Aces’ Carl Bryan Cruz (16.2).
JOSEF T. RAMOS