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Peter Jun Simon - Most Valuable Player for
PBL Platinum Cup

February 04, 2004

Fash Liquid Laundry Detergent's Peter June Simon, another great son from the South, finally realized his long-cherished dream yesterday by beating an array of established stars to win the coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in PBL Platinum Cup at the Pasig Sports Center.

In one of the league's hottest contests for the highest individual award, Simon, the pride of Makilala, North Cotabato, collected a total of 750.27 points to edge out Welcoat's awesome backcourt combination in Jojo Tankay and James Yap and Fash teammate Rich Alvarez.

Finishing only fifth in the statistical points, the 6-foot Simon, 23, rallied behind his solid votes from the media - print, radio and TV - to cap a glorious 2003 season, a feat that will surely make the former University of Mindanao star a player to watch in the pro league which kicks off on Feb. 22.

"I did not expect to win this MVP trophy dahil marami naman po ang mga magagaling dyan. It's really a great honor to receive this kind of award," said a teary-eyed Simon. "

Salamat po sa lahat na nagtiwala sa akin, lalo na po sa coaching staff at management ng Fash. Marami pong salamat ulit."

Simon got 362.34 from the players and media votes and 387.93 while Tankay tallied only 270.27 from the players and media to finish with 717.83 while Yap wound up a close third with 715.38. Tangkay topped the stats with 447.56 points.

Alvarez was far fourth (655.28) and Welcoat's center Ervin Sotto fifth (59.97). Joining Simon in the Mythical First Team are Alvarez,
Tangkay, Yap and Sotto while making up the Second Team are Sunkist's Alex Compton, Fash's Allan Salangsang and Welcoat's Marc Pingris, Paul Artadi and Willie Wilson.

Sunkist's Jemal Vizcarra was named Newcomer of the Year, beating the likes of JR Reyes of Welcoat and Montana's Ronjay Enrile, Dondon Villamin, the 6-2 guard of Sunkist-UST, was adjudged as Sudden Impact Player, while Fash's Nino Gelig was chosen as the Most Improved Player.

Simon, who led all scorers after the semis with 280 or an average of 16.47 points per game, was also among the first recepient of the Commissioner's Choice Awards, an honor bestowed to players whose performance and presence have helped further the league's imageand best exemplifies the objective of the league.

The two other Commissioner's Choice awardees were Compton and Alvarez. Compton was cited for the courtesy he displayed towards opponents, the respect he gave to the game and league officials and his willingness to make his teammates better.

For Alvarez, he was honored for embodying the principle of hard work and determination to become a great player as testament of being named the top pick in the recent PBA Draft.

Though shy most of the time, Simon was a fierce competitor the moment he arrived in the league two years ago. Even after signing a big free agent contract with Purefoods, Simon showed an indomitable will to sacrifice