Fajardo a cut above rest
A PLAYER entering his prime already winning his fourth Most Valuable Player award. Let that sink in.
JuneMar Fajardo, the 27-year-old San Miguel Beer stalwart, was once again the biggest individual winner, taking home his record fourth straight Most Valuable Player award for the season in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Leo Awards yesterday.
The scary thing is that a couple more MVP awards in the future, barring major injuries, are a possibility.
Head and shoulders above his closest competition, the San Miguel Beer star capped off another stellar season by being named the MVP again after leading the Beermen to championships in the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner’s Cup.
It was a runaway win for Fajardo as he topped teammates Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross by a wide margin.
With this fourth MVP trophy, Fajardo joined icons Alvin Patrimonio and Mon Fernandez as the players with the most recognition all-time. However, Fajardo is the only one among them who have won four in succession, showing how he is dominating this current era.
“Sobrang blessed talaga ako. Hindi ko inakala noong una na aabot ako dito sa PBA tapos ngayon narating ko pa ito. Wala akong masabi. Sobrang nagpapa-salamat talaga ako sa lahat ng tumulong sa akin at sa team ko,” said Fajardo, who could shatter the record in the future.
The Mythical First Team is composed of four Beermen, led by Fajardo. Along with him, the other four members are his teammates Ross, Cabagnot and Arwind Santos and Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar.
Composing the Mythical Second Team are TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams, Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio and Joe Devance and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge.
For the All-Defensive Team, players recognized were Fajardo, Aguilar, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, Ross and Jio Jalalon of Star.
Roger Pogoy of TNT KaTropa took Rookie of the Year honors in a tight race with Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.
Ross was likewise the winner of the Most Improved Player award, edging Meralco’s Baser Amer, after a stellar season wherein he won his first Best Player of the Conference award in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Norwood was also given the Sportsmanship Award.
The annual awards were handed out prior to the start of Game 4 of the Governors’ Cup finals between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco.
The Gin Kings and the Bolts are once again going at it in their best-of-seven finale as of this report with the former looking to move closer to the title while the latter aiming to equalize.