Slaughter, Fajardo neck-and-neck in early tally for Best Player of Conference award
Greg Slaughter and June Mar Fajardo are running one-two in that order in the statistical race halfway through the eliminations of the Philippine Cup. Jerome Ascano

TWO of the PBA’s dominant big men today are as expected lording over the race for the Best Player of the Conference award halfway through the eliminations of the Smart Bro-Philippine Cup.

Longtime rivals Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel counterpart June Mar Fajardo currently occupy the 1-2 slots for the conference’s top individual award as per the latest statistical points standings released by the league on Monday.

Slaughter is just a shade ahead of Fajardo, a two-time MVP, at No. 1 with 43. 8 statistical points (SPs) built on league-best averages of 22.8 points and 15.3 rebounds.

Except for the Kings’ 80-76 win over Mahindra on Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, the Ginebra center has churned out double-double numbers in five straight games with the Kings, who are now in the middle of the standings with an even 3-3 slate.

Fajardo is a close No. 2 with 42.7 SPs as he averages 19.3 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 1.5 block shots (No.1) for the league-leading defending champions. San Miguel improved to 5-1 in the standings following a thrilling 106-105 victory over Barako Bull also on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 1-2 NLEX punch of Sean Anthony and Asi Taulava are also making a case for the BPC award after ranking third and fourth respectively, in the standings.

The rejuvenated Anthony is running third with 41.2 SPs behind his averages of 20.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, while the veteran Taulava, also a former league MVP, is just behind him with 20.0 points and 13.8 rebounds.

Incidentally, all top four are among the players averaging in double figures in the all-Filpino conference along with Willy Wilson of Barako Bull (13.7 ppg and 10.7 rpg) and unheralded Mahindra big man Mark Yee (11.7 ppg and 10.2 rpg).

Stanley Pringle of Globalport occupies fifth spot with 37.6 SPs (21.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and 4.4 apg).

Two-time best guard in Asia Jason Castro ranks sixth with 35.6 SPs (22.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 3.4 apg), while at No. 7 is Alaska forward Vic Manuel with 33.0 SPs (16.4 ppg and 8.2rpg).

Alex Cabagnot leads the league in assists with 5.5 per game to place 8th in the BPC race with 32.3 SPs (14.7 ppg and 3.8 rpg), while rounding up the Top 10 are Globalport’s Terrence Romeo with 31.8 SPs (20.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 2.8 apg), and Wilson with 31.5 SPs.

Just outside the Top 10 are Japeth Aguilar (11th), followed by Arwind Santos, Jervy Cruz, Calvin Abueva, and JR Quianahan.

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