By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots’ Calvin Abueva remains on top in a tight battle for the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (BPC) plum.
Based on the data released by the league after the quarterfinals, the nine-year PBA veteran was barely a frontrunner for the individual citation with 36.4 statistical points per game (SPs).
Abueva averaged a double-double of 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, while adding 2.7 assists and 1.3 block shots in his first season with the Magnolia Pambansang Manok.
The former San Sebastian College Golden Stags star, however, opted to focus on his goal to help the Hotshots get past Meralco Bolts in the best-of-seven semifinals. Magnolia is currently ahead in their series, 1-0.
“Ang mindset ko ‘yung makapunta kami ng finals and makuha ang championship,” said Abueva. “Hindi ko naman hinahabol (BPC award). Sabi ko nga kay coach (Chito Victolero), that’s a bonus ‘pag makuha ko ‘yun.”
TNT Tropang Giga rookie Mikey Williams, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, is at second place with 35.0 SPs following his averages of 17.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.2 steals.
NorthPort Batang Pier’s Robert Bolick, on the other hand, is at third spot for the individual citation with 33.7 SPs, but his team’s failure to reach the semifinals hurt his chances for the top individual award of the tournament.
Hotshots’ Ian Sangalang made a huge leap and is now at no. 4 with a 32.3 SPs after averaging 16.8 points and 8.0 rebounds, while San Miguel Beermen’s Jaymar Perez and Arwind Santos were at nos. 5 and 6 with 31.5 and 30.5 SPs, respectively.
Also making a steady climb in the individual standings is sixth-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, who is now at no. 8 spot with 29.8 SPs built on averages of 11.7 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Batang Pier’s Jamie Malonzo fell from no. 4 to 7 with a 30.2 SPs, while completing the top 10 are Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings’ Christian Standhardinger (29.5 SPs) and Jayson Perkins of Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (29.4 SPs)./ASC, WDJ