The Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals have yet to lose a game in the second round.
After the team lost heartbreaking games in the first round that would have placed them near the top of the Final Four race, the Cardinals barged into the second round in a sweeping fashion. Anchoring the team for the stretch is 19 year old foreign student-athlete, Allwell Oraeme.
Oraeme is currently leading the league in the MVP race, as he has been an ironman in minutes played, and has been the rebound king in the NCAA, so far. Dubbed as the “Fresh Prince”, the defensive ace led the Cardinals to spectacular wins against the Letran Knights and the Arellano Chiefs.
Aside from rebounding, Oraeme also contributed in scoring for his team, having 18 points in Mapua’s 82-77 win over Letran last Tuesday, before posting 15 points in the Cardinals’ 81-76 victory over Arellano last Friday.
Oraeme’s double-double efforts put the Cardinals on the right track for a Final Four berth, extending the team’s winning streak to six games en route to a 10-5 win-loss record. Mapua is currently in a tie for fourth place with Arellano in a tight battle for Final Four seedings.
Mapua Assistant Coach, Ed Cordero, whose team remained undefeated in the second round, said the 19-year-old Oraeme can still play better in the years to come, since he is just a rookie.
“He is still very raw. Watch out when he matures. We’ve been telling him to be patient and be coachable because there are brighter things to come for him,” said Cordero, who took the cudgels for Mapua this week with Head Coach Atoy Co serving his suspension.
This is a sentiment shared by Co. “Sa akin, we really need our [foreign student-athlete]. Kasi kami we’re here, it’s because of Allwell. Every game he has a double-double,” the PBA legend said.
Oraeme averaged 16.5 points and a whopping 21.5 rebounds last week.
Oraeme beat out the following players for this week’s honors:
Earl Scottie Thompson (UPHSD)
Week average: 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists
Win over: College of Saint Benilde Blazers