Fajardo cinch to win record 6th Best Player award, holds wide lead over Castro and Co.

San Miguel Beer’s grand slam quest ended already some 2 weeks ago, but star center June Mar Fajardo remains on track at winning a historic sixth Best Player of the Conference award as he enjoys a big lead over his closest pursuer Jayson Castro of TNT.

The 6-10 Fajardo, who averaged 18.55 points and league-best numbers of 11.64 rebounds and 2.27 blocks for locals, amassed 38.45 average statistical points at the close of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Sunday.

Castro, who is looking to join Fajardo and PBA legend Danny Ildefonso as the only players to win a fifth Best Player award, is a far second with 33.56 average SPs.

The “Blur” overtook Meralco’s young guard/forward Chris Newsome with his solid showing in the playoffs. The 6-1 Newsome placed second in the Best Player race at the close of the eliminations. But Newsome, the Rookie of the Year last season, has dropped at fourth spot at the end of the semifinals with 30.87 SPs.

Castro’s TNT squad though is out of the running in the Finals, having lost to defending champion Barangay Ginebra in a physical and emotionally-charged semifinal series on Sunday. That leaves Newsome and Ginebra’s starting slotman Greg Slaughter, really serving as serious contenders for the Best Player award with their respective squads meeting in the Governors’ Cup Finals, set to start this Friday in Lucena.

The 6-11 Slaughter remained at third with 32.62 SPs in the BPC race, while Fajardo’s veteran teammate and 1-time PBA MVP Arwind Santos is at fifth spot with 30.58.

Completing the top 10 in the race for the Best Player of the Conference are Ginebra top playmaker LA Tenorio (30.18), GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle (29.44), Alaska’s Calvin Abueva (29), Meralco’s sophomore guard Baser Amer (28.86) and San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot (28.50).

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava