Gab Banal of the Bacoor Strikers and Mark Yee of the Davao Occidental Tigers are among the strong contenders for this season’s Most Valuable Player award in the ongoing MPBL Datu Cup.
Right at the closing stage of the elimination round, the 6-foot-3 Banal still leads the statistics with 30.286 total statistical points. That’s almost three points ahead of premier power forward Yee, of southern division leader Tigers.
The second-gen cager has kept his slim hold of the lead in the derby with a few games left in the elimination round to boot.
In second place is Michael Juico of the Pampanga Lanterns with 28.778 total SPs followed by Yee with 27.625.
But with Pampanga already eliminated, Juico will not be able to pour in the additional points needed. Which means the battle is down to two of the best forwards in the fastest-growing regional amateur basketball league, founded by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Also in the running are Paolo Hubalde of the Valenzuela Classic at No. 4 with 27.04 SPs, while Michael Mabulac of the Laguna Heroes are at No.5 with 26.76 SPs.
With Valenzuela and Laguna eliminated, Allan Mangahas of the Muntinlupa Cagers will move up in the race. The cool and calculating guard, who received the most votes in the southern division of the MPBL All-Star Game compiled a total of 26.043 SPs at No. 6 spot.
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