SMB's June Mar Fajardo widens lead over Calvin Abueva in Best Player of the Conference race
SMB center June Mar Fajardo has widened his lead over Alaska's Calvin Abueva in the statistical race for the Best Player of the Conference award at the end of the semifinal round. Jerome Ascano

THANKS to his superb semifinal showing in the PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beer big man June Mar Fajardo is on track for his second Best Player of the Conference award after widening his lead over his closest pursuers.

The 6-10 center out of the University of Cebu amassed 41.6 statistical points at the end of the semifinals, thanks to his league-best 19.2 points per game average, to go along with his tournament-leading 12.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, as well as 1.9 assists.

The reigning league MVP’s overpowering plays during the semifinals enabled San Miguel to score a 4-0 sweep of bitter rival Talk ‘N Text just before the New Year break and a place in the finals.

So impressive was Fajardo that Alaska’s undersized forward Calvin Abueva fell off the pace in second place on 34.5 points despite averaging a double-double of 15.8 points and 11.6 rebounds in the season-opening conference.

San Miguel forward and one-time PBA MVP Arwind Santos is at third spot with 33.1 SPs, followed by Barangay Ginebra’s young center Greg Slaughter (32.8).

Playmaker Alex Cabagnot is the third Beermen in the top five with 31.4 SPs.

Rounding out the top 10 are Cliff Hodge of Meralco with 30.8 SPs, Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar (30.4 SPs), NLEX’s evergreen center Asi Taulava (29.8), GlobalPort rookie Stanley Pringle (29.7) and Talk ‘N Text combo guard Jayson Castro (27.6).

Meantime, Pringle continues to hold a huge lead in the race for this season’s Rookie of the Year award after posting averages of 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and a league-best 4.9 assists as well as 1.9 steals in the Philippine Cup.

Talk ‘N Text wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser is in second with 23.5 points, while a distant third is Barako Bull forward Jake Pascual with 18.7.

Here is the complete tabulation:

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