THE ongoing 2012 PBA Governors Cup Finals between championship series debutante Rain or Shine and back-to-back-titles-seeking B-Meg is turning out to be an intriguing one.
But outside of the Smart Araneta Coliseum floor, another hotly contested battle in the PBA is brewing and it has got to do with the season MVP award.
This has got to be the most fiercely fought MVP race in the league’s annals simply because there are three players, each one deserving to win, fighting for it.
In the past there had been close MVP derbies but they usually involve only two players at the most. Not three.
Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa won a second straight Best Player of the Conference award last Wednesday in the Governors Cup, adding to his conference MVP win in the Commissioner’s Cup.
After winning two of the three Best Player of the Conferences for the season, does it necessarily mean Caguioa already has put a lock on the MVP plum?
Since the Best Player of the Conference award was institutionalized in 1994, all three players who won at least two Best Player of the Conference awards in a season went on to win MVP honors at season’s end – Vergel Meneses in 1995, Danny Ildefonso in 2000 and 2001 and Eric Menk in 2004-05.
However, here’s a catch: since the league began in 1975, all previous MVPs saw action in at least one Finals the year or season they won the award, something which Caguioa has not done.
Powerade’s Gary David has been No. 1 in scoring all season long, coming up with the best performance by a local player in the last 21 years. How can that not be considered?
'El Granada' has been virtually No. 1 in statistical points all season long and was the biggest reason for the Tigers’ reaching the Finals in the Philippine Cup, considered the most precious jewel among the three conferences of the pro league.
David’s biggest drawback is, Powerade never made it to the playoffs in the second and third conferences, losing out in a playoff for a quarterfinal or semis seat both times, despite his incredible showing.
Then there’s James Yap who won Finals MVP when B-Meg won the Commissioner’s Cup, something he and the Llamados can duplicate in the ongoing Governors Cup.
There’s a chance Yap can duplicate the feat of Jimmy Alapag who won two Finals MVPs when Talk ‘ N Text won two championships last season en route to winning season MVP honors. Alapag however has one Best Player of the Conference trophy (in the Commissioner’s Cup) to show for last season’s MVP which Yap doesn’t have.
Like I said, this is going to be close MVP race. And yes, I think it’ll be much closer than the Rain or Shine-B-Meg Governors Cup Finals.