Jeff Viernes was impressive for Che’lu Bar and Grill Revellers in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, so much so that he had been named the conference’s Most Valuable Player, Tuesday afternoon.
The 5-foot-8 gunslinger made history with the achievement, as he became the first ex-pro to win the developmental league’s highest individual plum. Viernes averaged a league-best 18.8 points with 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals.
“Definitely, siya ang MVP namin,” said Revellers head coach Stevenson Tiu, who has known Viernes for some time now. “The way he carried yung team namin this conference, kitang-kita mo na gusto niya yun at gusto niya mag-champion.”
Viernes has been the driving force of Che’lu for the conference. He steered his side on top of the standings with an 8-2 card, and when they faced elimination at the hands of CEU in the semis, he dropped 26 to send Che’lu back to the Finals.
And in the titular bout’s opener, Viernes led the Revellers’ comeback from a double-digit deficit, scoring 34 big points to power his side to a 1-0 lead.
Viernes, who has played as an import in Thailand and last played for the GlobalPort Batang Pier in the PBA, bested Go for Gold Scratchers’ versatile forward Gab Banal – he himself a former Batang Pier – for the plum.
Now, Viernes will look to inspire the Revellers anew as they look to send the series to a deciding Game Five.