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Fajardo favored to win 5th BPC award

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By JONAS TERRADO

June Mar Fajardo is expected to win his fifth Best Player of the Conference award.

June Mar Fajardo is expected to win his fifth Best Player of the Conference award.

June Mar Fajardo is on the verge of tying his idol Danny Ildefonso for the most Best Player of the Conference awards after maintaining his lead in the race for the PBA Philippine Cup’s top honor at the end of the semifinals.

Fajardo posted 43.4 Statistical Points to remain ahead of Globalport guard Terrence Romeo (40.2) in the race. But with the Beermen currently in the finals against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the award seems to be a mere formality for the 6-foot-10 gentle giant.

The three-time reigning Most Valuable Player would need to gain the votes of the media, players and the PBA Commissioner’s Office to capture the Best Player plum for the fifth time in his five-year pro career.

That would put him in a tie with Ildefonso for most number of BPCs since it was first awarded in the 1994 season.

Ildefonso did the trick while playing for the Beermen. He did in consecutive conferences, from the 2000 Commissioner’s Cup to the 2001 Governors’ Cup.

That allowed the former National University standout to win his two consecutive MVP awards in 2000 and 2001.

It will also boost Fajardo’s bid to bag a fourth straight MVP which would tie him with Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez for most all-time.

Winning the BPC award in the Philippine Cup holds a big merit in the MVP race by season’s end, and there’s seems to be no stopping Fajardo in doing so.

Fajardo is also eyeing another piece of history, this time with the rest of the Beermen as a win over Ginebra would give them their third straight Philippine Cup and ownership of the prized Perpetual Trophy.

San Miguel and Ginebra began their best-of-seven finals last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Best Player of the Conference is expected to be formally named before Game 4 of the finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Calvin Abueva of Alaska is in third place with 31.9 points, while Fajardo’s teammates Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot share fourth and fifth with 31.8 points apiece.

Phoenix’s Matthew Wright is in seventh at 30.5 to lead all rookies in the statistical points race.

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