For the sixth straight season, a foreign-student athlete will take home the top individual honors in UAAP men’s basketball.
Senegalese Malick Diouf of University of the Philippines was hailed as Season 85 Most Valuable Player on Wednesday afternoon moments before Game Two of the Finals between the Fighting Maroons and Ateneo de Manila University.
The 6-foot-11 big man normed 10.79 points, 10.86 rebounds, 2.86 assists, 1.57 blocks, and 1.5 steals during the elimination round where the awards are based on. That showing earned him 73.9 statistical points (SP) to secure the MVP trophy.
“I just want to say thank you for this blessing. Thank you to my teammates, but job is not yet done. I hope that in two or three hours, we will be celebrating in our school,” said Diouf as the Fighting Maroons look to sweep Ateneo de Manila University later in the day.
Cameroonian Ben Mbala (La Salle) started the trend in Seasons 79 and 80 before Nigerian Bright Akhuetie (UP) took the award in 81. Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo won it for UST in 82, then Ange Kouame (Ateneo) bagged the hardware in 84.
Completing the Mythical Five are Ateneo’s Forthsky Padrigao and Dave Ildefonso; University of the East’s Luis Villegas; and teammate Carl Tamayo.
Padrigao averaged 11.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.36 rebounds, and 2.36 steals to come a close second to Diouf with 71.6 SPs. Meanwhile, teammate Ildefonso managed 12.97 points and 8.29 rebounds.
One-and-done Villegas led the Red Warriors’ resurgence with 13.14 points, 8.07 rebounds, 3.79 assists, and 1.93 steals.
Second-year Tamayo had 13.79 points and 7.71 rebounds.
In the battle for the top freshman plum, Green Archer Kevin Quiambao rose and collected the Rookie of the Year plum.
The flashy forward averaged 11.23 points, 6.54 rebounds, 3.23 assists, and 1.08 steals to best National University’s Kean Baclaan and UE’s Gani Stevens.
After winning four Player of the Game honors, Jerom Lastimosa was hailed as the PSBankable Player of the Season. He banked P50,000.
A total of 28,000 fans voted Tamayo as the Lazada Swag Player of the Season. He took home P30,000.