June Fajardo, Allein Maliksi, and the memorable San Miguel-NorthPort showdown will be among those to be honored in the 2022 PBA Press Corps Awards Night at Novotel Manila Araneta Center next week.
Fajardo is the latest recipient of the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, Maliksi is named Mr. Quality Minutes, while the Beermen-Batang Pier duel during the Philippine Cup quarterfinals is voted as Game of the Season.
The Awards Night is set on June 21. Program starts at 7 p.m.
The 6’10” Fajardo successfully came back from a one-year absence after going down with a fracture on his right tibia and lead the Beermen back to the semifinals of the all-Filipino Cup, where they lost out to eventual champion TNT Tropang Giga in a best-of-seven series that went the full route.
The league’s only six-time MVP winner finished the season with averages of 13.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists and finished fifth overall in statistical points, good enough to be named part of the Mythical First Team.
Fajardo will be receiving the special award named after Adornado, the great shooting forward who overcame two career-threatening injuries and win the MVP award three times in a 13-year Hall of Fame career that saw him play for Crispa, U-Text, Great Taste, Shell, and Alaska.
Maliksi meanwhile, was voted Mr. Quality Minutes or equal to the Sixth Man Award.
The Meralco shooting guard came off the bench in 24 of 42 games while averaging 12.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assist. He shot a high 41 percent from three-point range.
Not to be overlooked is the quarterfinal match between San Miguel and NorthPorth which is chosen as the Game of the Season, whose special feature had Alex Cabagnot and Robert Bolick engaging in an endgame shootout inside the Bacolor bubble in Pampanga.
The game was held at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym and the Batang Pier on the verge of stunning the Beermen in Game 1 of their quarterfinals series after Bolick converted on an amazing three-pointer launched near the centercourt to take an 87-86 lead with five seconds left to play.
But Cabagnot, playing his first game back after missing seven straight outings, didn’t let San Miguel down, hitting a turnaround jumper for the game winner, 88-87, and gave his team a 1-0 lead in the series which it eventually won.