Miller eyes place in PBA’s elite
ALASKA’S Willie Miller is hoping to join an elite group of players who have won the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) honor three times since the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) started giving the award in 1994.
And he looks to be on the inside track.
The 32-year-old left-handed guard is tied with Aces teammate Joe Devance at No. 3 in the statistical points (SPs) category after the semifinal round of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup with 31.0 SPs average.
Sta. Lucia Realty’s Kelly Williams actually topped the category with 40.6 SPs average but his chances of bagging his second BPC plum look bleak because the Realtors were eliminated in the wild-card stage.
San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos ranked second with 35.3 SPs average but, like Williams, the six-foot-four versatile forward might not get the nod of the voting media, who represent 30 percent of the total vote, as his Beermen were also booted out by Purefoods Tender Juicy in the semifinals.
This prunes down the race among Miller, Devance, LA Tenorio (No. 6, 29.8 SPS average) and Giants star James Yap, who ranked No. 8 in the SPs average with 27.6.
Yap, the top scorer in the semifinals with almost 20 points per game, is the only Purefoods player in the top 10 of SPs category, with teammate Kerby Raymundo at No. 13 with 26.423.
Miller, also a two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP), has won the BPC honor last season also in the Philippine Cup after leading his team to the finals against Talk ’N Text. He first won the award in the 2004-05 Fiesta Cup.
If the Olongapo City-native player bags the award, he will join Vergel Meneses, Eric Menk and four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio in the elite group with three BPC citations.
Meneses, now coaching Jose Rizal University, won it in the 1994 Governor’s Cup and the 1995 All-Filipino and Commissioner’s Cup, the year he won his MVP in the PBA.
Menk won the BPC trophy in the 1999 All-Filipino while playing for Tanduay and in the 2004-05 Fiesta Cup and Philippine Cup en route to his first MVP in the league.
Patrimonio, now the team manager of the Giants, pocketed the BPC trophy in the 1994 Commissioner’s Cup, the 1996 All-Filipino and 1997 Governor’s Cup.
The statistical points comprise 30 percent while the players’ votes have 25 percent value in the voting. Television coveror, Solar Sports, has 10 percent. The Commissioner’s Office gets the remaining 5 percent.
The BPC winner will be known on Wednesday before Game Four of the Alaska-Purefoods final series at the Araneta Coliseum.