Oct. 18, 2016
2016-2017 Early Top 5 M.V.P. Candidates
Yes, I know that the MVP race could again boil down to three-man race of Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo and Calvin Abueva. But, other than those three, there are two more possibilities.
JUNE MAR FAJARDOFajardo has been the MVP of the past three seasons and he will only turn 27 this November 27 so he will not slowdown, anytime soon. I expect a much better challenge to his MVP throne this season so he may need to improve his magnificent numbers last season (19.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 57.3% FG) to around 21 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 60% FG.
JAYSON CASTROCastro deserves at least one MVP plum with his production in the last four seasons. Unfortunately, he played in the era of the Kraken and he may never claim one. But, the possibility is still there and if he wants to take the award by its head, he will need a production around 22 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 37.5% 3FG.
CALVIN ABUEVACalvin's aggressiveness and coach Alex Compton's minutes distribution is the biggest hurdle to the candidacy of Calvin. You cannot really blame coach Alex in limiting his minutes because The Beast can be called for three personal fouls in under two minutes!
The per 36 minutes of The Beast will make him the best challenger to the throne. His per 36 minutes averages are 21.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 33.3% 3FG. If he can get near to those numbers, he will have a legit chance.
Now, this is the interesting part. Who are the two dark horses in this race? I believe that these two can have the biggest chance to the plum if the three primary candidates will miss a lot of games due to injury.
TERRENCE ROMEOHe said in the offseason that he will put more focus on defense and playmaking and that could result to more victories for the Batang Pier. His statistics last season (24.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 35.9% 3FG) was worthy of MVP consideration, but the wins did not come.
So, if he can put up around 20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists ad 38% 3FG and at least reach the playoffs for the three conferences, he could be an interesting option.
JAPETH AGUILARYeah, he has the longest shot out of the five. But, with the injury of Greg Slaughter, Japeth has all the opportunity to spread his wings and be a legit king eagle. In last year's Philippine Cup, he exhibited that he can be a candidate with his 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 49.3% FG.
This is a long shot, but he has a Tim Cone in his side.