THERE’S no doubt June Mar Fajardo is still the best in the PBA.
The 6-foot-10 San Miguel Beer slotman validated once more his tag as the most dominating center to ever make the pro league after being adjudged the most valuable player in the pro-league’s just-concluded 44th season.
Also many-time member of the national team, Fajardo led the Beermen to championship victories in the 2019 Philippine Cup (which was their fifth straight) and the Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen failed to advance in the season-ending Governors’ Cup which was disputed by Barangay Ginebra and Meralco, but that hardly affected Fajardo’s bid for the highest individual award.
On Sunday, the San Miguel star was officially named MVP at the Smart Araneta Coliseum during the annual Leo Awards which served as one of the main highlights kicking off the league’s 45th season.
Fajardo’s sixth straight MVP triumph put him two trophies better than Ramond Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio who were both 4-time winners.
June Mar broke the three-way tie last year with his 5th consecutive award.
It was Fajardo’s first public appearance since suffering a complete fracture of the tibia in his right leg.
Fajardo was the only player to average a double-double last year, going for 18.87 points and 13.0 rebounds.
Fajardo beat Jayson Castro, CJ Perez, and Christian Standhardinger for the MVP plum. He has six MVP awards in seven seasons.
Meanwhile, CJ Perez also hogged the limelight during the elaborate opening of the new season in the Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
Proving his title as the top pick of his rookie draft, Perez was named the PBA’s Rookie of the Year for the 2019 season.
In an impressive rookie campaign, Perez also emerged as the league’s scoring champion, averaging 20.8 points.
CJ also had enviable statistics in 2019, finishing only behind MVP June Mar Fajardo in total statistical points.
Perez beat Robert Bolick, Ray Parks Jr., Javee Mocon, and Abu Tratter for the award.
With Fajardo and Perez in the first mythical team are Jayson Castro (Talk ‘N Text), NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger and Sean Anthony.
Fajardo, Perez and Anthony had also been part of the All Defensive team that also included SMB’s Chris Ross and Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar.
The second mythical team is composed of TNT’s RR Pogoy and Trpy Rosario, Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle and Aguilar, and Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang.
Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel bagged the most improved player award.