CEBU may still be lagging behind Pampanga when it comes to the most number of active PBA players, but there's one edge the Queen City of the South holds over the country's Culinary Capital: having the most Most Valuable Players.
Yes, we know. It's all because of June Mar Fajardo.
The gentle Pinamungajan-born center, who got his break at University of Cebu, single-handedly gave Cebu the league record for most MVPs won with six, including the last one this past 2019 season.
Fajardo is the only Cebuano to win the top individual award. Yet in the 45-year history of the PBA, there were two other legends who got their breaks in Cebu before going on and carving out legendary careers.
Ramon Fernandez, born in Maasin, Leyte, studied at University of San Carlos in Cebu before progressing to the PBA and winning four MVP awards.
He won his first in 1982 when he was still with Toyota, and bagged the plum anew in his stops with Beer Hausen/Manila Beer and finally, San Miguel in 1988.
Abet Guidaben, who hails from Mambajao, Camiguin, also started his career in Cebu when he went to University of San Jose-Recoletos. The 6-foot-5 center got his first MVP award in 1983 during his with Crispa, before duplicating that feat four years later, this time with San Miguel in 1987.
So if combine the haul of the three, Cebu schools account for 12 PBA trophies. How cool is that.
Individually, Pampanga hold the record for most individuals to win the MVP award with two.
Ato Agustin, who is from Lubao and is currently serving as a councilor there, was the first Kapampangan to capture the plum in 1992. The 5-foot-10 guard remains as the only second round pick to win the MVP back in his playing days with San Miguel.
Twenty-one years later, Angeles native Arwind Santos followed suit as he bagged the 2013 MVP award with then-Petron Blaze.
Here in the Metro, Quezon City boasts of producing the most MVPs with three awardees.
Crispa great Freddie Hubalde was the first to do it in 1977.
Alvin Patrimonio won it four times in the 1990s for Purefoods, which allowed him to tie Fernandez for then-league record of most MVPs won.
Ginebra playmaker Jayjay Helterbrand also took the award home in 2009 to round out the list.
Pasig and San Juan also have two MVPs apiece to boast.
Crispa court general Atoy Co won the award in 1979, before fellow Pasigueno Allan Caidic did the trick in 1990 as San Miguel's deadshot sniper.
San Juan native Philip Cezar took home the MVP honors in 1980 for Crispa, before Mark Caguioa won his in 2012 for Ginebra.