San Miguel main man June Mar Fajardo missed a lot of games due to an MCL sprain which he sustained during the Beermen’s futile campaign in the EASL Champions Week but it wasn’t enough to disqualify him in the race for the Most Valuable Player award of PBA Season 47.
Despite missing 6 games in the Governors’ Cup, the 33-year-old Cebuano still managed to see action in 46 of his team’s 59 matches to meet the criteria and be an official candidate for Season MVP. He will be gunning for his seventh.
Brgy. Ginebra teammates Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger are also automatic MVP candidates, being Best Player of the Conference winners just like Fajardo.
Fajardo reigned as Best Player in the Philippine Cup, Thompson in the Commissioner’s Cup and Standhardinger in the Governors’ Cup.
A fourth candidate or even a fifth will be added in the list of contenders if they had amassed enough stats points for the whole season.
But it’s likely to go down to a three-way rumble among Fajardo, Thompson and Standhardinger in the balloting among the PBA players and the sports media who cover the games.
As in 2018, 2019 and 2021, the PBA honors the MVP and the other top individual awardees in the Leo Awards that will be held simultaneous with the unveiling of the next season.
In giving way to Gilas Pilipinas’ participation in the Southeast Asian Games, the FIBA World Cup and the Asian Games, the PBA is looking to hold the Season 48 inaugurals in October.
“Itutuloy na natin ang bagong tradition na sabay ang Leo Awards sa opening ng susunod na season. Ito ay para sa fans. Mas masaya ang fans dito dahil halos lahat ay present sa set-up na ito,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.
Fajardo received his fifth and sixth MVP trophies in gatherings among all the players in 2018 and 2019. It was the same during Thompson’s coronation in 2021.
In 2020, the PBA held a ceremony at the TV Media Center to fete the top performers of the Philippine Cup which was held in a bubble inside Clark, Pampanga with Stanley Pringle taking home the Best Player of the Conference award.