By Jonas Terrado
TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro and Terrence Jones are heavy favorites to emerge as the top individual performers when the PBA presents the winners of the Best Player of the Conference and Best Import honors before Game 4 of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Castro is a strong contender to bag the Best Player plum over San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and Blackwater rookie Ray Parks Jr. while the Best Import is expected to be handed to Jones for his superb play during TNT’s campaign.
Forty percent of the stats will be used as criteria to determine the winner while the rest are votes from the media (30%), players and the PBA Commissioner’s Office (5%).
Castro was third in the Statistical Points race with Fajardo placing fourth. Parks and Columbian’s CJ Perez were 1-2 but the failure of leading their teams to the semifinals have likely hurt their chances.
Jones, meanwhile, is a cinch to bag the coveted award given to the best foreign player of the midseason conference after powering the KaTropa to their first finals appearance since the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
He is ahead of the tournament’s reigning Best Import Justin Brownlee of Barangay Ginebra and Finals foe Chris McCullough of San Miguel in the race.
Both players have validated their case in the ongoing Finals which saw TNT winning two of the first three games.
Castro is aiming for his fifth BPC award which will tie him with PBA great Danny Ildefonso for second all-time while Jones seeks to become the fifth player in Pepsi/TNT franchise history to claim the Best Import plum.
Past winners from the team were Ronnie Coleman (1994 Governors’ Cup), Silas Mills (1998 Governors’ Cup), Jerald Honeycutt (2002 Commissioner’s Cup and 2005 Fiesta Conference) and Richard Howell (2014 Commissioner’s Cup).