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Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva still ahead in Best Player of the Conference race


Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots’ Calvin Abueva maintained his lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference race heading into the best-of-seven finals series.

At the close of the semifinals round, the former PBA Rookie of the Year winner accumulated an average of 34.2 statistical points (SPs) while steering the Hotshots to the championship round.

In 19 games so far including the semifinals, Abueva averaged a double-double of 15.2 points and 10.0 rebounds, while adding 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.1 block shots.

Following Abueva behind in the individual race was NorthPort Batang Pier’s Robert Bolick Jr. who has 33.7 SPs but is not in contention for the award as his team bowed out in the quarterfinals.

Abueva’s Hotshots teammate Ian Sangalang looms as the biggest threat to Abueva’s aim for second BPC citation as he jumped to third place with 33.0 SPs.

The 29-year-old Sangalang was a steady presence for the Hotshots in their semifinals series against the Meralco Bolts as he normed 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.

Rookie Mikey Williams of TNT Tropang Giga, meanwhile, dropped to fourth spot after being at second place after the quarterfinals due to his struggles during their Final Four series with San Miguel Beermen.

Williams, the no.4 overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, currently has 32.0 SPs behind averages of 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 18 games.

Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo closed out the top 5 candidates for the individual honor that will be given at the close of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup with 31.8 SPs.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, a six-time PBA Most Valuable Player awardee, submitted double-double averages of 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds for the Beermen.