June Mar Fajardo is like a walking trophy case as he won his seventh MVP award in nine years. I know JMF did a lot of good in the previous season but one thought stuck in my head revolves around the MVP trophy he loves the most.
Because here's the thing - I know the first time is always the best (uhurm,) but he won his seventh MVP award a couple of seasons removed from a devastating injury. This is also the first season where Leo Austria did not coach his MVP win for a full season - with Austria relieved of his duties in favor of Jorge Gallent. Of course, Fajardo deserves this - as with first-time Mythical Teamers Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, and Arvin Tolentino.
In some ways, I thought the league should have had Chris Newsome and Jio Jalalon in the Mythical Team instead of Robert Bolick and Mikey Williams. But with this statement, it's less on Bolick and more on Williams because of the former pending return to the league and the latter's "traditional" contract issues.
In some ways, I thought Ato Ular would win the Rookie of the Year award. In terms of need, Justin Arana is bound to have a big sophomore season with Ular unsure of how his game would evolve given that he is playing for a team known for giving away their players.
Anyway, here is the rundown of the Leo Awardees. Congrats to all of them and hopefully, they find a way to make it back to their spots next season (with the exception of the Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player awards, of course.)
MVP | JUNE MAR FAJARDO – SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (7TH MVP AWARD)
MYTHICAL FIRST TEAM
JUNE MAR FAJARDO – SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (9TH MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
CJ PEREZ – SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (2ND MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
SCOTTIE THOMPSON – BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS (3RD MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER – BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS (3RD MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
JAMIE MALONZO – BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS (1ST MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
MYTHICAL SECOND TEAM
CALVIN ABUEVA – MAGNOLIA HOTSHOTS (6TH MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
CALVIN OFTANA – TNT TROPANG GIGA (1ST MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
MIKEY WILLIAMS – TNT TROPANG GIGA (2ND MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
ARVIN TOLENTINO – NORTHPORT BATANG PIER (1ST MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
ROBERT BOLICK – NORTHPORT BATANG PIER (2ND MYTHICAL TEAM SELECTION)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR | JUSTIN ARANA – CONVERGE FIBERXERS
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER | MAVERICK AHANMISI – CONVERGE FIBERXERS
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD | KEVIN ALAS – NLEX ROAD WARRIORS (2ND SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD)
JUNE MAR FAJARDO – SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (6TH ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM SELECTION)
CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER – BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS (2ND ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM SELECTION)
JIO JALALON – MAGNOLIA HOTSHOTS (3RD ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM SELECTION)
CHRIS NEWSOME – MERALCO BOLTS (1ST ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM SELECTION)
CLIFF HODGE – MERALCO BOLTS (2ND ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM SELECTION)