WITH the San Miguel Beermen riding on the crest of an eight-game winning streak, Cebuano center Junemar Fajardo is also drawing near to his second Most Valuable Player award in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Through 43 games this season, Fajardo holds the lead in statistical points (SPs) over closest chaser Jayson Castro of the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

The 6’10” behemoth from Pinamungahan accumulated a total of 37.31 SPs, while Castro, the Commissioner’s Cup best player of the conference awardee, lagged behind with 30.92 sps.

Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort Batang Pier is at the third place (28.99), Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra Kings (28.69) is fourthand rookie Stanley Pringle of GlobalPort (28.25 is fifth).

Fajardo won the BPC award in the Philippine Cup, which the Beermen won via thrilling Game 7 over the Alaska Aces, while Castro led TNT to winning the mid-season conference also in seven games against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Aside from the MVP award, Fajardo is also the front runner for the Best Player of the Conference for the season-ending Governors Cup.

However, the race is closer with Fajardo at 36.60 SPs, and Romeo at 36.00 through 10 games this conference.

Meanwhile, Talk N Text tries to keep its hope of advancing into the quarterfinal round alive when it battles Kia Carnival today.

Even with just a 4-6 slate fpr a tie with Ginebra at the ninth spot, the Tropang Texters can still make it to the playoffs if they win over Kia, which totes a 4-5 card. But they will also have to wait for the outcome of the remaining games of Meralco (5-4), Purefoods (4-5), Ginebra and Nlex Road Warriors (2-7).

The Tropang Texters face Kia at 4:15 p.m, while the Nlex Road Warriors also hope for a big win against cellar dweller Blackwater Elite at 7 p.m.

After losing to Purefoods Star Hotshots, 105-93, last Wednesday, coach Jong Uichico knows well that their fate now lies in the hands of the other contending teams. But he said they will just do their best to win their remaining games and hopefully advance into the next round.

Only eight of the 12 teams will advance into the quarterfinal round with the top four enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage over the remaining four contenders.