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Top contenders Abueva, Sangalang, Williams consider BPC win 'bonus' to PBA title

Calvin Abueva is ahead of the pack in the BPC race if stats are considered. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--They may have opposing plans on how to win the PBA Philippine Cup title, but Magnolia's Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang and TNT's Mikey Williams agree on one thing: that winning the Best Player of the Conference is just a bonus for them.

The three players are the top contenders for the season-opening tournament's top individual prize based on the statistical points and how far they have gone.

But for them, winning it all for their respective clubs remains the top priority.

"Ang number one na gusto mo dyan, makapunta ka ng Finals and get the trophy," said Abueva, who has been at number one in the stats race since the end of the eliminations and has 34.2 average SPs through the semifinals.

An impressive semifinal stint against Meralco pushed Sangalang to third place in the BPC race. PBA Images (file photo)

Sangalang, who is third with 33.0 SPs, added that going for the BPC is not his priority since the start of the season.

"Pumunta ako dito para makabalik kami ng finals. Nilaro ko lang yung nilaro ko throughout the season," said Sangalang, who reunited with Abueva at the Hotshots camp after they both helped the San Seabstian Golden Stags capture the 2009 NCAA title and the 2011 PCCL championship.

Mikey Williams has become TNT's "super rookie". PBA Images (file photo)
However, Williams arguably has the best storyline among the top BPC contenders as he quickly made his presence felt despite just playing his first PBA conference.

"I came in just trying to fit in and do what I can do to help the team. I'm glad we're in a position to compete for a championship, but that was ultimately the end goal. The only goal I had for the year was winning the championship," said Williams, the Tropang Giga's explosive rookie combo guard.

Williams was just behind Abueva in the BPC race until the quarterfinals until some semifinal struggles against San Miguel dropped him to fourth.

However, still up for grabs are the nods from various voting sectors, the media, the PBA commissioner's office, and the players.

The BPC is expected to be named prior to Game 4 of the championship series between Magnolia and TNT on Wednesday night.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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