By Jonas Terrado
The Best Player of the Conference could go to either a first-timer or a repeat winner Wednesday when the award is handed out before Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro could add another BPC to their collection while NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger may end up winning the first major award of his career during the simple ceremonies.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Justin Brownlee and Meralco’s Allen Durham are also favored in the Best Import award which will also be announced during the pre-game rites.
Fajardo is seeking an unprecedented ninth BPC award but his chances are gloomy owing to San Miguel’s quarterfinal exit while Castro could break his tie with PBA great Danny Ildefonso and claim the honor for a sixth time.
Getting the BPC may also enhance Castro’s chance of claiming a first-ever Most Valuable Player award, having won the same award in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Standhardinger seems to have the strongest chance of getting the plum after placing third in the Statistical Points race with 35.1, trailing only Fajardo (38.8) and Columbian rookie CJ Perez (37.2).
Like Fajardo, Perez’s chances are slim after the Dyip failed to make the playoffs.
NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena is also a candidate after finishing fourth in the SP race at 34.5, with Castro in fifth at 31.6.
Meanwhile, Durham and Brownlee are once again competing for the Best Import award in the season-ending conference.
Durham had edged Brownlee twice in 2016 and 2017, but the Meralco import is more concerned now on finally leading his team to the championship.
Brownlee won Best Import once during Ginebra’s title run in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
Both players trailed TNT KaTropa’s KJ McDaniels, who topped the derby at the end of the semis with 58.9 Statistical Points.
Brownlee was second at 57.2 followed by Durham with 56.9.