College of Saint Benilde already knew it could count on Will Gozum for NCAA Season 98. And now, four games into their playoff-hopeful campaign, he hasn’t let them down.
The 6-foot-6, sweet-shooting big put up monster numbers in the opening week, with averages of 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.5 assists to tow the Taft crew to a 2-0 start.
But Gozum didn’t stop there, amassing MVP-worthy stats in their next two games to get the nod as the Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week presented by the Philippine Sports Commission.
The 23-year-old slotman churned out 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks to will Benilde to an 81-64 victory over Perpetual.
He then followed it up with a 23-point, 10-rebound outing against defending champion Letran and though the Blazers lost, 75-81, his effort was more than enough for the weekly honor backed by minor sponsors MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey.
Gozum edged the Letran backcourt duo of Fran Yu and Brent Paraiso, San Beda’s James Kwekuteye, and Lyceum’s Mac Guadaña for the award decided upon by print and online scribes regularly covering the league.
Despite his strong showings, the fourth-year bruiser understands that his work goes beyond the games themselves, as he also has a leadership role to play to help Benilde end their string of Final Four heartbreaks.
“I’m letting them know na I got their back. I’m trying to let them calm whenever nasa pressure moments kami,” said Gozum, a member of last season’s Mythical Team and Best Defensive Team.
“It’s a long season pa and bonus na lang yung (MVP) for me. I want the bigger chip kasi dun, buong team and community masaya.”