The #PBA2015 Commish Cup BPC Race: Jayson Castro or Paul Lee?

The Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters have booked the first of two tickets to the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, sweeping the Meralco Bolts in what turned out to be a pretty much lopsided semifinal affair.

Not surprisingly, Paul Lee has been the main spark of the Painters so far this conference. He is the team’s  leading local scorer and best three-point shooter. He is also the second-best rebounding guard in the whole tournament behind GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle. With Lee clicking on all cylinders, the Painters have prospered, zooming to the top of the elims standings with an 8-win, 3-loss record and are now just 4 wins away from the franchise’s first Commissioner’s Cup title.

Our two leading BPC candidates -- Jayson Castro & Paul Lee.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA)

Given his outstanding performance so far, Lee is surely one of the leading candidates for Best Player of the Conference (BPC). He is averaging 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.5 triples in 14 games while also shooting 41.2% from beyond the arc, 41.8% from the floor, and 90.6% from the line. In terms of unofficial statistical points, Lee is running third behind big man June Mar Fajardo, whose team has already been eliminated, and Gilas Pilipinas guard Jayson Castro, whose Talk N Text Tropang Texters are still in the middle of their own semifinal series against defending champion Purefoods Star.

Talking about Castro, the Blur has also been nothing short of amazing this conference. He leads his squad in scoring, assists, and three-point shooting, while also being its third-best rebounder behind import Ivan Johnson and Ranidel De Ocampo. Castro is second overall in assists per game and leads the entire league in three-pointers made with 36 (Lee is second with 35). Oftentimes, it seems that it has been Castro, and not the import, who has been the best player on TNT. Because of this, the Texters are just two wins away from dethroning Purefoods Star and joining ROS in the Finals.

With averages of 17.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steal, and 2.6 triples in 14 games while also shooting 43.9% from rainbow country and 44.9% from the field, Castro, like Lee, has been top-of-mind in many a BPC convo. Not surprisingly, both guards are also constantly mentioned when people talk about the next composition of the Gilas Pilipinas national side.

The big question right now, of course, is, between Lee and Castro, who should be BPC? Neither of them tops the statistical points race, but surely the guy on top (Fajardo) wouldn’t get the not, right? I mean, his team didn’t even make the quarterfinals. If Fajardo is named BPC, that would be an unforgivable travesty. 

Having said that, I think the BPC race will come down to whoever can lead his team to the title. If Lee can lead ROS to the crown, he gets the BPC. Ditto for Castro in case he is able to push TNT to the top of the mountain. The thing is, Castro and his Texters still need to hurdle the Hotshots to be able to get to the Big Dance. If TNT is eliminated by Purefoods Star, I think Lee, by default, should be named BPC. Nobody on Purefoods Star’s roster has the individual numbers to match him anyway. 

This means that, because of his great production and the fact that he has been able to pilot his team to the Finals, Paul Lee, the Angas ng Tondo, has the inside track in the BPC race, but if Jayson Castro can muster the chutzpah to propel TNT to a semis win and maybe the conference crown, he may just snare the BPC from Lee’s hands. 


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