THERE is no suprise that June Mar Fajardo is once again on top of the heap in the early tabulation for the statistical race of the Best Player of the Conference award.
What's surprising is who's with him up there.
Fajardo remained on course for a third Best Player of the Conference trophy, but the Cebuano big man of San Miguel Beer is under threat from GlobalPort youngsters Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle as well as the rejuvenated Barako Bull pair of JC Intal and Joseph Yeo.
Fajardo currently averages 37 statistical points (SPs) built on his averages of 16.2 points and 14.1 rebounds for the 5-2 Beermen, but right behind him is Romeo who is running second with 35.1 SPs.
Yeo, in his first conference with Barako since being traded away by Ginebra, ranks third with 30.7, teammate Intal is fourth with 30.2 while rookie Pringle rounds out the Top Five with 29.8 SPs.
Rounding up the top 10 are NLEX’s ageless center Asi Taulava (27.5), San Miguel playmaker Alex Cabagnt (27), KIA point guard LA Revilla (26.6), along with Beermen Marcio Lassiter (26) and Chris Ross (25.7).
Though Romeo and Co. have made great strides, the man to beat remains Fajardo - the reigning MVP who is on track to join an elite group of three-time BPC winners led by Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa, Alaska’s Eric Menk, Talk ‘N Text guard Jayson Castro and PBA legends Alvin Patrimonio and Vergel Meneses.
The 25-year-old Fajardo won his first two BPC awards during the 2014 and 2015 Philippine Cup.
Danny Ildefonso, who mentored Fajardo during the latter’s rookie season with the Beermen, holds the record for most number of BPC trophies won with five.
Statistics account for 40 percent of the tabulation in determining the winner, with 30 percent coming from media votes, 25 percent from players’ votes and the remaining five percent from the vote of the Commissioner’s Office.