Reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme had been down with the flu for the past three days. But even that did not stop the Nigerian student-athlete from anchoring the Cardinal defense in their game against the Benilde Blazers last Tuesday.
“Allwell is sick for the past two days,” Mapua head coach Atoy Co shared. “Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Just be in the shaded lane, get the rebounds and play defense. Don’t mind about scoring.’”
After a slow first quarter, Oraeme was able to warm himself up and finished the game with 17 points, nine coming from the foul stripe, and gobbled down 21 boards. More importantly, he helped lead the Mapua Cardinals to its best start under Co.
“I have a cold, stuffy nose. I’m just feeling weak,” Oraeme shared about how he was feeling after the game. “[During the] First quarter of the game, my body was so sluggish.”
Feeling dehydrated and tired throughout the game, the NCAA Season 90 Rookie of the Year and MVP admitted that he needed to get himself composed as the game went on and let the game come to him. “I just try to take it one step at a time, get defensive rebounds, and I don’t force the game,” he shared. “I don’t try to force the game, I just let it come to me and see where it goes.”
With the Cardinals having a long break before stepping back on the hardcourt again on July 12, Oraeme vowed that he will be healthy by then.
“I should be okay come July 12.”