THE PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference award will likewise be a toss-up between Alaska and Barangay Ginebra.
After finishing behind Gin Kings top playmaker LA Tenorio in the statistical race at the end of the 14-game elimination round, Alaska’s energetic rookie Calvin Abueva has wrested the lead at the end of the semifinals with his 28.5-point average.
The high-leaping rookie out of San Sebastian actually finished with 401 statistical points at the end of the semifinals, but he leapfrogged Tenorio on the strength of his 150 won-game bonus points.
That put him in line to becoming the first rookie since Danny Seigle and Eric Menk in 1999 to be named Best Player of the Conference - an award that eluded him during the Philippine Cup which went to Talk 'N Text guard Jason Castro.
The 28-year-old Tenorio is a close second with his 28.3 average SPs after accumulating a total of 480 points. He is averaging 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals this conference.
But with the slim margin separating the two contenders, the award is set to be decided by votes from the media, players and top PBA officials. The voting is underway and the winner will be announced just before Game Three of the Finals on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tenorio has never won a BPC award in his seven-year professional career. His individual awards include a 2010 Most Improved Player award, the 2010 Mythical First Team citation, the 2010 Fiesta Conference Finals co-MVP honors with Alaska and the 2012 William Jones Cup MVP plum.
Sweet-shooting Gary David of Globalport came in third with his 26.0 average SPs, while Alaska’s starting point guard JV Casio is in fourth spot with 25.4. Castro is in fifth with 25.2.
The top five statistical leaders are the only candidates for the BPC award.
Here is the complete list: