July 22, 2018, 11:32 pm
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Manuel shows way in BPC race

ALASKA Milk forward Vic Manuel, having improved by leaps and bounds after coming back from injury, emerged as the leading Best Player of the Conference contender after the eliminations of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Manuel, showing MVP form at 31 years old, was the top local performer in the eliminations, coming through with a league-best 24.18 points a game that went with 6.27 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.82 steals and 0.64 blocks an outing.

With an 80-point bonus gained on Alaska’s 8-3 win-loss showing, Manuel logged a league-leading 37.2 statistical points a game, topping everybody, including reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo who came in second with 36.8 SPs per game.

Sean Anthony and Stanley Pringle, GlobalPort’s new one-two punch, were third and fourth with averages of 35.4 and 35.0 SPs, respectively, while Meralco’s Chris Newsome rounded up the Magic Five with 33.5 SPs.

Completing the top 10 were Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan (31.3), Phoenix’s Matthew Wright (30.7), Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar (30.5), San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot (30.5) and Troy Rosario (29.9).

Former BPC winners Jayson Castro (29.6) and Arwind Santos (29.4) barely missed the Top 10. 

Rain and Shine and Alaska finished as the best teams in the eliminations, followed by TNT KaTropa, Meralco, Ginebra, San Miguel, Magnolia and GlobalPort to round up the playoff qualifiers.

Manuel easily emerged as the most consistent player, scoring at least 20 points for Alaska in each of their 11 games. He had never averaged more than 13.7 points since joining the league as GlobalPort’s ninth pick in the 2012 Rookie Draft.

Fajardo was breathing down Manuel’s neck with norms of 19.64 points, 11.36 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps leads all comers in the Best Import race with 55.1 SPs a game. His closest pursuer is San Miguel’s Renaldo Balkman (53.4).
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