TERRENCE Romeo has moved up to crowd June Mar Fajardo in the race for the Best Player of the Conference award in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
The prolific scoring guard of Globalport made a strong case for the top individual plum of the all-Filipino conference following his dazzling performance in his first semis stint in the pro league on Monday night.
Romeo fired a new career-high 41 points in leading the Batang Pier to a rousing 107-93 win over the Alaska Aces in Game One of their best-of-seven series.
The brilliant stint had Romeo moving up in the BPC statistical points standings, which the 6-foot-10 Fajardo has been lording over right from the start of the season.
From seventh place at the end of the quarterfinals, Romeo moved two notches higher to No. 5 with 36.0 statistical points (SPs). The GlobalPort stalwart continues to lead the league in scoring with his 23.9 points per game average.
Fajardo still leads the race with 45.6 SPs, built on averages of 23.1 points, 14.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.8 block shots.
But with perennial No.2 Greg Slaughter and No. 4 Sean Anthony expected to go down the standings following the ouster of Barangay Ginebra and NLEX, respectively, Romeo stands as Fajardo's biggest rival for the BPC award.
Another Globalport player in Stanley Pringle is also in strong contention for the plum as he currently occupies the No. 3 slot with a 38.1 SPs.
Two other players in Vic Manuel of Alaska and San Miguel’s Arwind Santos are the only ones still playing in the semis who managed to crack the Top 10.
Manuel is in eighth place with 33.7 SPs, followed by Santos at No. 9 with 32.55 SPs.
Rain or Shine, the other team still in contention for the season-opening title, has no player in the Top 10. Big man Raymond Almazan is the highest ranked Elasto Painter at No. 15 in the standings with 27.3 SPs.