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Cruz, Lee on track for Finals MVP as ROS now 3-0 up against Alaska

Paul Lee's triumphant return from a knee injury can be capped with a Finals MVP trophy. PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Jericho Cruz and Paul Lee are the top choices for the Most Valuable Player award of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals should Rain Or Shine go on to win the title.

In a copy of the statistical report for the best-of-seven series between the Elasto Painters and the Alaska Aces that was obtained by Dugout Philippines on Thursday, Cruz and Lee are among the shortlist for certain categories.

Cruz and Lee led ROS in scoring and are second and third respectively in points.

Three games in, Cruz averaged 16.3 points a contest, while Lee made 15.7 markers a night.

However, Cruz is fourth in rebounds, grabbing 5.0 boards a game, sixth in assist with 2.3 dimes a match, and leads everyone in steals with 1.7 swipes a game, giving him some edge over Lee.

Meanwhile, Lee is tied with import Pierre Henderson-Niles for fourth place in assists with 2.7 dishes a ballgame and with fellow Gilas standout Calvin Abueva for fourth in steals with 1.0 steal an outing.

Abueva, who is likely to capture the Best Player of the Conference award that will be handed prior to Game 4 on Friday night, is actually the frontrunner for the Finals MVP race among Alaska players as he is fourth place in terms of points (14.3) and third in both rebounds (8.3) and assists (3.3), but they need to crawl back from a horrid 0-3 hole to beat ROS for the championship.

The E-Painters can complete a sweep of the series against the Aces at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City at 7 p.m. Friday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno