Kelly or Kerby for BPC Honor

On: 18 February 2008

by Zean Macamay
Journal Online, 18 February 2008

Who will be the Best Player of the Conference?

Arwind Santos may be the top candidate, but he still may not end up with the award.

Kelly Williams of Sta. Lucia Realty and Purefoods' Kerby Raymundo have suddenly turned the race for the BPC honors wide open after steering their respective teams into the Finals of the Smart-PBA Philippine Cup.

Williams, one of only three players in the Top 10 in scoring and rebounding, trails Santos in terms of average SPs, 36.8 to the Express' forward 37.1. Raymundo is at fifth spot with a 32.9 norm behind reigning MVP Willie Miller of Alaska (fourth, 36.2) and Asi Taulava of Coca-Cola (third, 36.7).

Only the Top 5 in the statistical points race are included in the BPC race, eliminating James Yap, the MVP two seasons ago. Yap wound up sixth with a 32.2 standard.

The winner will be announced in Game Four of the Finals Friday.

Aside from the statistical points, which owns 30 percent of the total votes, members of the media will also cast their ballots that will also equate to 30 percent.

The players will also vote and has a 25 percent share, with ABC-5 having a 10 percent voting power. The remaining five percent will come from the Commissioner's Office.

Although Santos emerged with the most SPs in terms of average, the battle now has been practically trimmed down to three candidates -- Williams, Raymundo and Miller.

Miller failed to guide Alaska past the Realtors in the semifinals race as the Aces lost in seven grueling games.

But the first guard to win the MVP twice was the player to amass the most statistical points, having been the conference's No. 1 scorer at 22.6. He ended up with 977 SPs, or 56 SPs ahead of Taulava, the player who nearly carried the Tigers into the semifinal round.

Santos finished with a higher average SPs because he only played for 20 games, with Miller playing 27. Williams and Raymundo played for 25 games each and Taulava 24.

The Air21 do-it-all guy ended up as the second leading rebounder with 11.7, next only to Taulava (14). Williams finished third with an 11.0 rebounds per game norm.

Although only in his sophomore year, Williams has already showed that he could lead a team to great success with Sta. Lucia's first finals stint in seven years. If things go pretty well, he may still end up with the Finals MVP and give the Realtors their first-ever Philippine Cup championship.

Raymundo, on the other had, has always been a dominant force for the Giants both on offense and defense. He averaged 15.5 points and 9.8 rebounds a game through the semifinals where Purefoods eliminated a tough Red Bull five in seven games.

Williams normed 17.9 points per game after the Final Four.

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