FOR the three Best Player of the Conference candidates in the ongoing 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals, winning the individual award is going to be a bonus as their ultimate goal is to win the title.
BPC candidates 2021 PBA Philippine Cup
Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, and Mikey Williams are all within the top four of the BPC statistical race at the end of the semifinal round, but the three said individual awards are the last thing in their minds.
“Sa akin, it’s going to be a bonus,” said Abueva, who leads the statistical race with 34.2 statistical points (SPs).
Abueva is seeking his first BPC crown since the 2016 Commissioner's Cup, but he said being at the top spot in the statistical points was only a product of his willingness to help Magnolia reach the finals.
“Bonus talaga kasi ‘yung mga pinagdaanan mong ‘yun, ‘yung mga stats na ‘yun, hindi mo napapansin na ganun na stats mo pero ang number one mong gusto talaga, mapunta sa finals and get the trophy. ‘Yun ang number one doon,” said Abueva.
Sangalang, Abueva's teammate dating back to their days in college with San Sebastian, is eyeing his first-ever BPC title. But before entering the PBA semi-bubble, Sangalang said the main goal was to return the finals especially after their two runner-up finishes from 2018 to 2019.
Sangalang is in third in the BPC race after the semifinal round, behind NorthPort’s Robert Bolick.
“Pumunta ako dito sa bubble not expecting na maging candidate kami ng (BPC). Pumunta ako dito para makabalik uli sa finals. Then, nilaro ko lang laro ko throughout the season. For the season, nagpakundisyon ako, nangyari ‘yun. Bonus na lang ‘yung nakarating ako (BPC candidate). Nandito uli kami sa finals,” said Sangalang.
Williams made a big impression in only his first season in the PBA, making it to the BPC race at No. 4 after the semifinals. Among the three BPC favorites, Williams is the closest to winning the PBA crown with TNT holding a 2-0 lead entering Game 3 of the Philippine Cup finals on Friday.
The Cal State Fullerton product said he entered TNT with a mindset of fitting in to the system of head coach Chot Reyes being one of the new players of the Tropang GIGA.
“It’s definitely a bonus. I came in just to try to fit in and do what I can do to help the team. We are in the position to compete for the championship. That’s the ultimate goal. The only goal I have is to win a championship. I’m just glad that I compete for that,” said Williams.
Aside from stats, votes from players, PBA, and media will be considered in naming the BPC winner.