AFTER setting a new all-time high in most Best Player of the Conference (BPC) awards won, is an unprecedented eighth PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum next for San Miguel Beer’s (SMB) June Mar Fajardo?

Mr. Fajardo, who claimed his 10th BPC in the Philippines Cup, stormed ahead of the race for the top individual plum of the two-conference Season 48 with 42.1 average statistical points.

“The Kraken” logged 17.8 points and a league-best 13.4 rebounds to go with 2.8 assists ad 1.7 blocks in SMB’s one-championship, one-runnerup showing en route to the front seat against Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger (37.8 SPs) and fellow Beermen CJ Perez (37.4 SPs).

Mr. Standhardinger, the only other local aside from Mr. Fajardo with double-double averages (19.8 markers and 10.2 boards), and Mr. Perez (18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists), the BPC of the season-opening Commissioner’s Cup that the Beermen ruled, are expected to crowd Mr. Fajardo in the shortlist of candidates for the prestigious plum.

NorthPort’s Arvin Tolentino (21.78 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists) and TNT’s Calvin Oftana (21.81 points, 8 rebounds, 2.6 assists) sit at Nos. 4 and 5 with 35.9 and 35.4 SPs, respectively.

Top rookie pick Stephen Holt of Terrafirma runs sixth in the MVP chase with 34.1 SPs ahead of Chris Newsome (31.7 SPs), who helped Meralco to the All-Filipino crown at the expense of SMB.

Season 46 MVP Scottie Thompson of Ginebra (30.3), Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson (29.2) and Phoenix’ Jason Perkins (28.8) round out the Top 10.

Mr. Holt, who produced 17.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals to key the Dyip’s first quarterfinal stint in eight seasons, paces the contenders for the Rookie of the Year honors.

NorthPort’s Cade Flores (23.3 SPs), Rain or Shine’s Adrian Nocum (21.8 SPs), Phoenix’ Ken Tuffin (21.5 SPs) and Blackwater’s No 2 selection Christian David (17.8 SPs) trail the Fil-Am guard.

The winners of the awards will be determined based on stats and votes from media, players and the Commissioner’s Office. — Olmin Leyba