Best Player of the Conference Stanley Pringle led the group of players who made it to the PBA Philippine Cup’s Elite Five during Sunday’s Special Awards Night.
Pringle was joined by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel teammate Japeth Aguilar, Phoenix Super LPG’s Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva and TNT’s Poy Erram in the team equivalent to the Mythical Five for being among the best performers of Season 45’s lone conference.
The composition of the Elite Five could be described as among the most difficult decisions in recent years, particularly at the two guard spots with plenty of deserving picks being left out.
Pringle and Wright, who placed second in the BPC race, were chosen at the backcourt over top statistical leader Ray Parks Jr. and RR Pogoy of TNT.
Pringle received 725 points while Wright had 715 to earn the Elite Five nod with Pogoy missing out on a spot after placing third with 339.
Abueva led all frontcourt players with 698 followed by Aguilar with 647 and Erram, who was the only TNT player on the list with 463 to beat out Abueva’s teammate Jason Perkins (368).
Two backcourt players and three frontcourt cagers (forward or center) comprise the Elite Five under PBA rules.
Pringle and Aguilar were among the major reasons for Ginebra’s title run in the bubble while Wright and Abueva almost led Phoenix to the Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Erram was included for his key presence on both ends of the paint in his first conference since joining TNT from NLEX in a three-way trade.
Aguilar bounced back from a slow start to average 15.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22 games for Ginebra while Erram produced 11.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks for TNT, also making 22 appearances.
Wright posted 21.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 17 games before being slowed down by an ankle injury in Phoenix’s semifinal series loss to TNT.
Fellow Fuel Master Abueva capped off his return from a 16-month suspension with 15.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 12 matches.