By ADRIAN STEWART CO
TNT Tropang Giga newcomer Mikey Williams can duplicate the rare Rookie-Most Valuable Player (MVP) feat done by former Shell Turbochargers center Benjie Paras in 1989.
The Filipino-American gunner is currently ahead in the PBA 2021 Season MVP race with 35.3 statistical points (SPs) at the end of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Williams, who was hailed as the Finals MVP in their five-game series with Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots, averaged 18.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
NorthPort Batang Pier gunner Robert Bolick Jr. stayed at second place with 33.7 SPs average while Hotshots’ Calvin Abueva dropped to third spot with 32.3 SPs.
Hotshots center Ian Sangalang is at fourth spot with 32.2 SPs, while former MVP awardee June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beermen is at fifth place with 31.8 SPs.
The next five were Batang Pier rookie Jamie Malonzo (30.2), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings’ Christian Standhardinger (29.5), Phoenix Super LPG’s Jayson Perkins (29.4), Kings’ Scottie Thompson (29.3), and Beermen’s Jaymar Perez (29.1).
Narrowly missing the Top 10 in the MVP race were Tropang Giga’s Roger Pogoy (28.8) and Beermen forward Arwind Santos (28.2).
Williams and Malonzo are top two in the Rookie of the Year race followed by Road Warriors’ Calvin Oftana (21.2 SPs), Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ Leonard Santillan (16.7) and Meralco Bolts’ Alvin Pasaol (13.9).
Placing outside of top five in the top rookie honors are Alaska Aces center Benedict Adamos (13.1) and Batang Pier forward Troy Rike (12.9).
Williams can duplicate the feat of Paras if he can maintain his solid performance in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, which will begin in the third or fourth week of November./ASC, WDJ