FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Arwind Santos, the Petron Blaze Boosters’ double-double machine, emerged as the leading contender for the Best Player of the Conference derby after the quarterfinal round of the PBA Philippine Cup. 

Santos, with his regular double-double showing, leads everybody in the statistical points (SPs) race with an average of 38.63 a game. 

The 6-foot-4 former FEU stalwart is six points clear of chief pursuer Kelly Williams of Talk n Text, giving him a solid chance to become the first player in seven years to win the BPC award in back-to-back fashion.

Ginebra’s Eric Menk was the last player to do the trick in the 2004-05 Fiesta Conference (transition tourney) and the succeeding Philippine Cup. 

Also on the strength of his double-digit norms in scoring and in rebounding, Santos won the coveted individual award in the most recent Governors Cup. 

The wiry forward has not slowed down a bit, averaging 18.3 points and 12.3 rebounds as he powered Petron to a third-place finish in the elims and to a two-game sweep of Meralco in the quarterfinals. 

Santos leads the tourney in rebounds and is fourth in scoring behind Gary David (22.5), James Yap (19.0) and Chris Lutz (18.33). 

Williams, the 2008 MVP, puts in 32.92 SPs a game for second place in the BPC derby. 

Petron guard Alex Cabagnot is at third with 31.88 SPs an outing, followed by B-Meg’s James Yap (31.38), TnT’s Harvey Carey (30.77), Powerade’s Gary David (30.69), TnT’s Jason Castro (30.64), Powerade’s Marcio Lassiter (29.94), Barako Bull’s Willie Miller (28.80) and Alaska’s Sonny Thoss (28.50). 

Rain or Shine super rookie Paul Lee is just outside the Top 10 with 28.27 SPs a game. Lee is the stats leader in the Rain or Shine team with averages of 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 0.9 steal. 

The top five in the stats race after the semifinal round contest the BPC awards in a balloting. 

The winner then automatically becomes a contender for the season’s MVP award. 

David, Yap, Lutz and Santos are running one-two-three-four in the scoring race, followed by Lassiter (16.25), Miller (15.9), Castro (15.64), Jeff Chan (15.5), Thoss (15.36) then Macmac Cardona (15.33). Santos is No. 1 in rebounds, followed by Carey (11.154), Doug Kramer (10.688), Jayr Reyes (10.071), Asi Taulava (9.338), Ali Peek (9.833), James Sena (9.429), Thoss (9.357), Gabby Espinas (9.125) and Williams (8.917). 

Santos, Carey and Kramer are the only players averaging double-double numbers in the tourney.

Cabagnot is tops in the business of playmaking with 6.7 assists per game, Lutz is the leader in steals with 2.0 an outing while Japeth Aguilar is No. 1 in blocks with 2.2 a game.


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