BARANGAY Ginebra bruiser Christian Standhardinger looms as a red-hot contender for the Best Player of the Conference  (BPC) honors after delivering big-time in the playoffs and helping the Gin Kings return to the PBA Governors’ Cup finals.

Mr. Standhardinger, the frontrunner in the statistical points race through the elimination phase, stepped up his game even further come the playoffs, where the Gin Kings blitzed past quarterfinal opponent NLEX and swept semifinal rival San Miguel Beer (SMB).

The Fil-German ace posted 20 points, eight rebounds and two assists in twice-to-beat Ginebra’s 127-93 drubbing of the Road Warriors in the Last-8 then logged whopping averages of 26.33 markers, 11.67 boards and 6.33 dimes in the 3-0 shutout of SMB in the Final Four series.

This is largely seen to have given Mr. Standhardinger more muscle in the final push for BPC versus the likes of San Miguel’s CJ Perez and injured teammate June Mar Fajardo and TNT duo Calvin Oftana and RR Pogoy.

Winner of the Finals MVP in the previous Commissioner’s Cup, “the Bulldozer” is on track for BPC No. 2 after first hoisting the plum in the 2019 Governors’ Cup while with NorthPort.

Mr. Standhardinger, however, maintained individual accolades are the furthest thing from his mind.

“As honored as I am about the Finals MVP, and as much as I appreciate it, obviously I cannot go into the series thinking, ‘OK, I’m going to be Finals MVP (or BPC).’ It’s not about that,” he said after Ginebra’ 87-85 finals-qualifying comeback win over San Miguel.

“We have so many great players. It’s just figuring out what we can do to play the odds and to play the probabilities right.”

Ginebra is gunning for back-to-back championships in Season 47 and a three-peat in the season-ending conference in the coming best-of-seven Last Dance against the top-seeded Tropang Giga.

“Coming into playing TNT, we need to just focus on what can we do, what can each individual do to improve the probabilities that we can be victorious. And we have done that so far,” Mr. Standhardinger said. “Hopefully, we’ll find the little puzzle pieces in the finals series. I know we’re going to go all out, and hope for the best.” — Olmin Leyba