AHEAD of the historic Game 7 showdown between the Alaska Aces and the San Miguel Beermen for the PBA Philippine Cup crown, SPIN.ph digs in on the numbers of the most significant players on each side that stands to come home as the Finals MVP before the night is over.
It’s fair to note that other players can step up in the final game of the conference to possibly be more worthy of the individual award. For example, if June Mar Fajardo delivers a monster game and leads San Miguel to a Beer-aculous feat, then he has a case for the accolade. He’s since proven as the wildcard for the Beermen’s turnaround after coming back in Game 5, after all, despite his measly stats so far (averaging 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks in 19 minutes during the last two games).
However, it’s more likely that one of these men will add Finals MVP to his belt. Check out the case for each one.
Should Alaska win, the Finals MVP will most likely be:
PBA Philippine Cup Finals average: 20.8 PTS, 61.5% FG, 9 REB, 1.5 AST, 0.5 STL, 0.8 BLK
Games 1-3: 19.7 PTS, 61.5% FG, 6.3 REB, 1.7 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
Games 4-6: 22 PTS, 60% FG, 11.7 REB, 1.3 AST, 0 STL, 0.7 BLK
The Muscle Man has led Alaska in points and rebounds (20.8, 9) for the first six games, and this is no small feat considering he’s never started a game and is second in the team in minutes played (averaging around 27 minutes a game). He led the Aces in scoring in all six games played and even increased his output, carrying the fight for Alaska, in the last three (which they lost).
Honorable Mention: Calvin Abueva
PBA Philippine Cup Finals average: 12.8 PTS, 37.4% FG, 8.8 REB, 2.2 AST, 0.2 STL, 0 BLK
Games 1-3: 11.3 PTS, 36% FG, 8.7 REB, 1.7 AST, 0 STL, 0 BLK
Games 4-6: 14.3 PTS, 39.4% FG, 9 REB, 2.7 AST, 0.3 STL, 0.7 BLK
One other guy who has stepped up for Alaska in the last three games is 'The Beast.' He’s been a steady force in rebounds, coming a close second to Manuel, even as he’s only averaging 24.7 minutes per game. What hurts his case is his paltry shooting and his lack of defensive stats. He’s also fouled out in three of six games played so far.
Should San Miguel win, the Finals MVP could be:
PBA Philippine Cup Finals average: 11 PTS, 28.2% FG, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1.5 STL, 1.8 BLK
Games 1-3: 7.7 PTS, 21.9% FG, 7.7 REB, 1.7 AST, 1 STL, 1.7 BLK
Games 4-6: 14.3 PTS, 34% FG, 14.3 REB, 2.3 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK
Santos is the anchor of the Beermen’s stingy defense, leading SMB in rebounds, steals, and blocks for the series, but his offense was abhorrent in the first three games. But the former PBA MVP stepped up in the last three, even as he still couldn’t hit his shots consistently, most notably in Game 5 when he filled the stat sheet with 22 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 4 blocks.
Honorable Mention: Marcio Lassiter
PBA Philippine Cup Finals average: 16.8 PTS, 40.1% FG, 5.8 REB, 1.7 AST, 1 STL, 0.5 BLK
Games 1-3: 12.7 PTS, 34% FG, 4 REB, 2.3 AST, 2 STL, 0.3 BLK
Games 4-6: 21 PTS, 42.9% FG, 7.7 REB, 1 AST, 0 STL, 0.7 BLK
If Santos carries the defense, Lassiter leads the Beermen in offense with 16.8 with 2.3 makes from beyond the arc. Ironically, he started shooting better, especially from deep, in the last three games when he came off the bench, hitting 3 triples a game. And he provides decent rebounding and defense as well.