TALK ‘N Text stalwarts Jason Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo have taken over the top two places in the Best Player of the Conference race of the PBA Commissioner's Cup, thanks to the Tropang Texters' perfect record at the end of the quarterfinals.
Castro, nicknamed the 'Blur' for his speed inside the court, now leads the statistical race with 30.2 points, just a shade infront of the sweet-shooting De Ocampo (30.0) ahead of Talk 'N Text's semifinal series against Rain or Shine.
The two Talk ‘N Text players actually engaged in a close race for the BPC award during last season’s Philippine Cup, which Castro went on to win for his very first individual conference award.
Castro and De Ocampo were key figures in the team’s 10-0 record in the mid-season conference as the Texters swept the nine-game eliminations before clobbering Barangay Ginebra, 97-84 in their quarterfinal setto.
San Miguel Beer’s young slotman June Mar Fajardo, who ranked No. 1 at the end of the single-round eliminations, dropped to third in the race with 29.8 SPs, his bid for back-to-back BPC awards dented the Beermen’s playoff exit after bowing to the Air21 Express twice last week.
Aside from SPs, which comprise 40 percent of the tabulation, votes from the media (30 percent), the players (25 percent) and the Commissioner’s Office (five percent) are major factors that determine the award.
Meantime, reigning MVP Arwind Santos slipped to fourth with 29.1 while Air21 veteran slotman Asi Taulava climbed to fifth (27.9) after playing a huge role in the Express clinching a first-ever semifinal appearance.
Completing the Top 10 in the statistical race were Meralco gunner Gary David (26.5), Rain or Shine shooter Paul Lee (25.6), San Miguel's Marcio Lassiter (25.3) and Chris Ross (24.4), and Barangay Ginebra rookie slotman Greg Slaughter (24.0).
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text’s rock-solid reinforcement Richard Howell leads the Best Import race after amassing 53.4 statistical points.
His closest pursuer was San Miguel’s Kevin Jones at 50.9 SPs, followed by Meralco’s Darnell Jackson (49.8).