San Miguel Beer's June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.

SMB teammates Fajardo, Cabagnot, Ross pace historic PBA MVP race
Nelson Beltran (Associated Press) - October 17, 2017 - 9:16am

MANILA, Philippines – The MVP race has come down to a fight among three players from just one team – a first in the PBA history.

Reigning three-time MVP winner June Mar Fajardo chases a fourth crown versus San Miguel Beer teammates Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.

Barangay Ginebra behemoth Greg Slaughter could’ve been a fourth candidate being the winner of the Best Player of the Conference award in the season-ending Governors Cup.

But he’s ineligible to be a candidate since he played less than 70 percent of the Gin Kings’ total number of games in the season.

Fajardo, the BPC winner in the all-Filipino tourney and the runaway winner of the cumulative stats race in the whole season, is tipped to bag the most coveted individual award during the Leo Awards slated Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

As the MVP contenders, Fajardo, Cabagnot and Ross are also the leading candidates for the Mythical Selection.

Also in the race are Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Alex Mallari, Chris Newsome, Stanley Pringle, Terrence Romeo, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson at guard spots and Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Sean Anthony, Joe Devance, Cliff Hodge, Arwind Santos, Kelly Williams and Matthew Wright at center/forward positions.

Ross is the outstanding favorite for the Most Improved Player plum versus Raymond Almazan, Baser Amer, Mike Digregorio, Allein Maliksi and Troy Rosario while Wright is the top bet for the Rookie of the Year honors against RR Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer and Reden Celda.

In the running for the All-Defensive Team are Jalalon, Newsome, Pogoy, Ross, Tenorio, Thompson, Mark Barroca and Ping Exciminiano at the backcourt and Fajardo, Hodge, Santos, Williams, Abueva, Aguilar, Almazan, Anthony, Jaypee Erram, Marc Pingris, Jewel Ponferada, Rafi Reavis and Anthony Semerad at the frontcourt.

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