Allwell Oraeme has been the vital key in Mapua’s Final Four run and return to relevancy.
After year’s of heartbreaks and futility, the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals returned to the Final Four of the NCAA Seniors Basketball tournament as they blew out the Arellano University Chiefs, 93-75, last Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
During the entire campaign of this season’s hosts, one student-athlete has been the constant. As the Cardinals’ roster thinned out during the first round due to injuries, 19-year-old Nigerian Allwell Oraeme carried the team during a tough stretch that kept them alive in the race.
The King of the Boards this season, Oraeme has posted the top five rebounding performances of the season. ALL FIVE.
1. 30 rebounds vs. Arellano, 81-76 (2015/9/18)
2. 30 rebounds vs. Letran, 82-77 (2015/9/15)
3. 28 rebounds vs. Letran, 77-80 (2015/8/14)
4. 28 rebounds vs. Arellano, 93-75 (2015/10/13)
5. 27 rebounds vs. Jose Rizal, 68-67 (2015/9/8)
King Cardinal Josan Nimes was thankful to not only make his Final Four debut but also to be playing alongside the premier big man. “His numbers are out of this world. I’m very thankful because we wouldn’t be in this situation without him,” Nimes said about Oraeme. “I’m lucky enough to play beside him. I’m just very thankful he’s on my team.”
When asked if the foreign student-athlete should be crowned as both the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year this season, the Filipino-Australian did not hesitate to answer. “Hands down he is the MVP. We wouldn’t be here without him,” he quickly responded.
Oraeme is the rebounding champion this season with 20.28 boards per game but what’s more special is the minutes the “Fresh Prince” plays. Oraeme is also the iron man of the league in playing all 18 games and averaging a league-high 35.11 minutes per game. For the Rain or Shine-bound Nimes, this is a testament to the character of Oraeme. “He plays like 38 to 40 minutes per game and he doesn’t complain. If I did that, I’d probably cramp up. What he’s doing is very special.”
Oraeme, though, is deflecting all the credit and the talks about being crowned the MVP. He was just happy that he and the Cardinals are in the Final Four. “It feels good. We take it as a challenge because coach [Atoy Co] told us that we should get our minds set to the Final Four and I’m just happy that the dream came through today. I’m happy that we made Mapua proud,” the young center said.
However, Mapua assistant coach Ed Cordero gave a stern warning about Oraeme. “He is still very raw. Watch out when he matures. We’ve been telling him to be patient and be coachable because there are brighter things to come for him.”
No Rest for the Weary: Lady Spikers head to training immediately after Lady Bulldogs loss
Why did Jho Maraguinot and Maddie Madayag change numbers?
Mark Dyke back in La Salle
Christian Dela Paz motivated to bring first-ever title to Arellano
Jeremiah Rocha-less Ateneo blank UST to inch closer to the Final Four
Air Padda takes aim at poor officiating: ‘You need to be perfect as a ref’
Adamson averts another UE upset, snaps two-game skid
Chiara Permentilla out for at least two games
- Basketball5 days ago
Arwind Santos on Game 3 loss: ‘May mga shadow yung players kanina, yung lima nagiging walo’
- DLSU4 days ago
Shannon Arthur, La Salle edge UP, near third straight Finals appearance
- Mixed Martial Arts4 days ago
Kevin Belingon headlines Heroes of Honor card
- AdU4 days ago
Practice may have been Adamson’s secret weapon but Jerome Yenson is their ‘lethal weapon’