MARK Caguioa and Gary David are set off a rematch on Sunday, and this time it's for all the marbles.
Just days after Caguioa beat out David, among others, for the PBA Governors Cup's best player award, the pro league's top two gunners are once again the favorites as they vye for the season MVP trophy.
Along with David (Powerade) and Caguioa (Ginebra), also in the hunt for the league's highest individual honor are Petron’s Arwind Santos and former two-time MVP James Yap of B-Meg.
The winner will be announced during the annual Leo Awards to be held just before Game Four of the Governors Cup Finals between B-Meg and Rain or Shine.
The high-scoring Caguioa rode a wave of votes from the media and the Commissioner's Office to win the Best Player award of the season-ending conference, with statistical leader David surprisingly ending up a poor fifth in the final tally.
Caguioa, 32, also won the BPC award in the last Commissioner’s Cup, making him the first player to win the honor twice in a row after Petron’s Jay Washington. The feat also made the player considered as the current face of Ginebra the frontrunner for the MVP award.
Statistics still remain the top determining factor for the MVP race with 40 percent, followed by media votes 30 percent, players’ votes 25 percent, and votes from the Commissioner’s Office 5 percent.
Caguioa, David, Santos, and Yap also lead the nominees for the Mythical Selection.
Battling David and Caguioa for the guard spots are Talk `N Text’s Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, Paul Lee and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, B-Meg’s Peter June Simon, Alex Cabagnot of Petron, Powerade’s Jayvee Casio, Barako Bull’s Willie Miller, Meralco’s Sol Mercado and Mac Cardona, and the Alaska duo of L.A. Tenorio and Cyrus Baguio.
Vying with Santos and Yap in the center/forward slots are Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan, Ranidel de Ocampo and Kelly Williams of Talk `N Text, and Alaska’s Sonny Thoss.
The Rookie of the Year is a toss-up between Lee and Casio, with the Rain or Shine guard slightly ahead in statistical points.
A three-way fight also looms in the Most Improved Player award among Chan, Doug Kramer (Barako Bull) and Josh Urbiztondo (B-Meg), same with the Sportsmanship Award involving Casio, Simon and Larry Fonacier (Talk `N Text).
Norwood leads all guards in the All-Defensive team together with Sean Anthony (Powerade), Wynne Arboleda (Air21), Jireh Ibanes (Rain or Shine), Lassiter, Ryan Reyes (Talk `N Text), and Chris Ross (Meralco).
In the center and forward slots, the candidates for the same award include Santos, Kramer, Thoss, Ranidel de Ocampo, Beau Belga (Rain or Shine), Rudy Hatfield (Ginebra), Reynel Hugnatan (Meralco), Willy Wilson (Ginebra), Marc Pingris (B-Meg), and Asi Taulava (Meralco).