No MVP, only Best Player of the Conference for shortened bubble season

Published December 3, 2020, 8:52 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial (PBA Images)

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–The PBA board has decided not to crown a Most Valuable Player from the shortened 45th season under a bubble setup and instead bestow the Best Player of the Conference award along with other individual honors.  

Commissioner Willie Marcial announced the development after the virtual board meeting attended by the 12 team governors and Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy on Thursday afternoon. 

This means that San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo keeps his streak of six straight MVPs alive despite skipping the Philippine Cup due to the continuous rehabilitation of his knee injury. 

June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer keeps his streak of six straight MVP awards. (PBA Images)

Also removed were the Rookie of the Year, which will be replaced by the Outstanding Rookie, and the All-Defensive Team. 

Marcial said the league will also hail the Most Improved Player, the rightful recipient of the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award and a “Special Team” (similar to Mythical Team) from the all-Filipino tournament which is now in the finals. 

“Nakita naman natin ‘yung hirap ng mga players. Malayo sa pamilya, gumigising nang maaga para mag-practice at naglalaro pa kinagabihan o kinabukasan. Suklian naman natin ‘yung mga nagawa nila,” said Marcial. 

The PBA chief also bared that the board suggested to recognize the outstanding players and employees throughout the bubble season. 

The ceremony, which Marcial said is different from the annual Leo Awards and is being eyed to be called as the “PBA Special Awards Night” due to the historic nature of the bubble, is expected to be held virtually in January.