Alex Cabagnot is surprise leader in BPC race with slim lead over Pringle, Aguilar
SMB guard Alex Cabagnot is in the Top 10 among locals in five statistical categories (points, three-points made, rebounds, assists, steals). Jham Mariano

THERE’S a new man on top in the race for the Best Player of the Conference award of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

In fact, the Top 3 in the list surprisingly does not feature any of the usual suspects like San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo, TNT’s Jayson Castro, or the reigning Commissioner’s Cup best player Calvin Abueva of Alaska.

SMB’s Alex Cabagnot is on track for his first career BPC award after leading the standings with 34.7 average statistical points (SPs), thanks to one of the finest conferences in his 12-year PBA career.

The 34-year-old Cabagnot is in the Top 10 among locals in five statistical categories (points, three-points made, rebounds, assists, steals) with averages of 15.1 points (7th), 6.6 rebounds (6th), 5.4 assists (4th), and 1.4 steals (8th) in 11 games.

With the Beermen owning the second seed with a 9-2 card, Cabagnot held a slim edge over No. 2 Stanley Pringle of the Batang Pier, who has 33.4 SPs. Pringle is second in scoring and fourth in rebounding among locals after the elimination round with averages of 20 points and 6.7 rebounds, to go with 4.3 assists.

Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar rounds out the Top 3 with 32.3 SPs. The Gin Kings big man, king of the boards and swats among locals, is averaging 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks for the top-seeded team.

Fajardo is in fourth place with 32.2 SPs. The three-time MVP is followed by the top local scorer Romeo with 31.5 points to complete the Top Five.

Castro is next in the standings with 31.3 points, ahead of a pair of Beermen in Marcio Lassiter (31.2) and Chris Ross (30.9). Ginebra guard LA Tenorio comes in ninth with 30.2 SPs, while Meralco’s Baser Amer cracked the Top 10 with 29.6 points.

Star’s Jio Jalalon reigns among rookies after landing in 13th spot with 27.7 SPs, but he only has a 0.3 point lead over TNT newcomer Roger Pogoy.   

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph