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The best is yet to come for Allwell Oraeme

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Last Friday was a very special day for Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme as he bagged the Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Defensive Team, and Rookie of the Year awards.

It was a rare feat in a highly competitive NCAA tournament. In addition, Oraeme was also part of the NCAA Mythical Five along with Art Dela Cruz of San Beda, Scottie Thompson and Bright Akhuetie of Perpetual, and Jio Jalalon of Arellano.

Furthermore, Oraeme also etched himself into the NCAA’s record books as he joined the likes of San Beda’s Sam Ekwe and Philippine Christian University’s Gabby Espinas to win the RoY and MVP awards in the same season.

“It feels like a dream. I didn’t believe I can win it,” Oraeme share when asked about his award-laden season. “Maybe I [just] thought I was only going to win the Mythical Five and Defensive Player of the Year but being a rookie MVP, it’s a big dream.”

During the season, Oraeme proved to be handful for any team as he averaged whopping stats of 16.33 points, 20.28 rebounds and 2.94 blocks per game. His best games of the season came against the Letran Knights and the Arellano Chiefs, where he posted back-to-back 30-rebound performances.

However, Oraeme’s ascent to the league’s elite doesn’t stop here, as he aims to sharpen his craft further to help his Mapua Cardinals reach new heights. Primarily an elite rim protector and the Cardinal’s last line of defense, Oraeme now aims to add more weapons to his arsenal by developing necessary offensive skills, particularly his post moves and midrange jumper.

“The plan for next year is getting [myself] to improve like from next week I’m [going to] get back to the gym and start working [more] on my game. I [need] to try to improve my game more offensively because this last season [I] was more [of a] defensive [presence],” Oraeme elaborated. “I will try to improve my game offensively from my post moves [and] to my perimeter shooting. Coach Ed Cordero is a very good shooting coach and even coach Atoy Co.”

Oraeme also shared that his team considered their season a success, since their goal was to make the Final Four. In the earlier parts of the season, it was not clear what kind of team Mapua would be, but as the season went along, they made a strong second round push and emerged as potential title contenders.

“This season, the mentality was getting into the Final Four which we accomplished,” Oraeme remarked. “Coming into the next season, for us to get into the championship hunt, starting from the first practice I’m going to go hard and get into shape.”

Now, with a busy off-season ahead for the 19-year old Nigerian, all he can do is focus on getting better. Mapua’s chances of bringing back the crown to Intramuros hinge heavily on his broad shoulders. Allwell already has a strong rookie season in his bag and it has sparked optimism among the Mapua faithful. Also, the scary thing about him is his best is yet to come. Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times The best is yet to come for Allwell Oraeme

“Everybody has their role. I think we’re going to go farther next year and maybe we can get to the championship,” he ended.

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