Luis Pablo was named as the NCAA 98 Juniors Basketball Most Valuable Player, Thursday at San Andres Gym in Manila.
Pablo, a 6-foot-7, 18-year-old senior big man, averaged 15.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game, helping La Salle Green Hills to reach the Finals.
Grateful is Pablo for the support of the community to the Greenies, who are trying to extend the best-of-three series to a decider later in the day.
“Sobrang thankful po sa award na ito. Gusto ko magpasalamat sa coaches at teammates ko,” said Gagate.
“But the job’s not yet finished po.”
Pablo was also part of both the Mythical Five and All-Defensive Team.
Surprisingly, there were six student-athletes in both all-NCAA teams.
Joining Pablo in the Mythical Five were San Beda’s Chris Hubilla (18.42 points, 12.17 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.92 rebounds), Letran’s Andy Gemao (19.22 points, 6.33 rebounds, 2.56 assists, and 2.22 steals), LSGH’s Seven Gagate (15.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 blocks), Perpetual’s Amiel Acido (17.33 points, 11.33 rebounds, 3.44 assists, and 1.11 steals), and Lyceum’s Matthew Rubico (21.89 points, 10.22 rebounds, 7.11 assists, and 1.56 steals).
Rookie of the Year Rubico actually had the highest player average value with 55.56 compared to 52.00 for Pablo. However, league rules state that the MVP must come from a Final Four team which the Junior Pirates failed to reach.
Meanwhile, the Defensive Team consists of Perpetual’s Acido, Arellano’s Ivan Panapanaan, LSGH’s Gagate and Pablo, Letran’s George Diamante, and Jose Rizal’s Paul Enal.
Diamante and Enal were hailed co-Defensive Players of the Year after being tied in the defensive player average value race.
Gagate was also named the Most Improved Player after ranking fourth this year — a 115 slots higher than his outing in Season 95.
“Sobrang thankful ko kasi mataas ang expectations sa amin ng tao pero ang goal namin is ma-meet yun. Goal naman po namin is taasan yung expectations namin dahil gusto namin mag-grow as players not only in this level but also sa next level. Thankful na nabigyan pa kami ng opportunity na maglaro sa NCAA pa,” said Pablo about the expectations on him and Gagate.
“Bibigay pa namin lahat para mabigay namin yung championship sa alma mater po namin.”
Finally, the San Beda Red Cubs won the Sportsmanship Award.