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Will Gozum wishes Mapua well, endorses good pal Escamis for MVP


On Tuesday afternoon, the College of Saint Benilde’s revenge tour came to a screeching halt as they fell in the final four of the NCAA Season 99 Seniors Basketball Tournament to Mapua University, after losing in the finals a year ago.

Despite the Blazers’ heartbreaking loss, Will Gozum put aside all bitterness to congratulate his former teammates at Mapua – particularly Warren Bonifacio, Clint Escamis, and head coach Randy Alcantara.

Gozum had shared the court with Bonifacio and Escamis under Alcantara’s tutelage back in high school with the Mapua Red Robins.

He then made his way to the University of the Philippines and, eventually, the College of Saint Benilde.

When the final buzzer sounded, Gozum and Mapua’s captain, Warren Bonifacio, shared a moment where the two exchanged farewells and congratulations.

“Sinabi ko lang kay Boni galingan niya sa Finals, suporta ako sa kanya. Si Clint (Escamis) hindi ko nga nakita eh yun rin sasabihin ko sa kanya,” explained Gozum.

NCAA-99-F4-CSB-vs.-MU-Clint-Escamis Will Gozum wishes Mapua well, endorses good pal Escamis for MVP Basketball MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

Gozum went on to praise Escamis for his incredible season, as the Cardinals’ guard was the frontrunner for MVP in the season right after Gozum won his.

“Sobrang deserve niyang maging MVP kasi he’s different.

“Talagang yung best niya pinapakita niya lagi and rookie pa lang siya this year, marami pang mangyayari sa kanya. Proud rin ako naging teammate ko si Clint before,” the reigning MVP continued.

NCAA-99-F4-CSB-vs.-MU-Coach-Randy-and-Gozum Will Gozum wishes Mapua well, endorses good pal Escamis for MVP Basketball MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

Gozum had nothing but praise for his Mapua counterparts despite their elimination. He even commended head coach Randy Alcantara, who won Mapua a championship in high school with Gozum and Bonifacio manning the frontcourt.

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Alcantara is now on his way to potentially winning Mapua its first collegiate championship in three decades.

“Juniors, nung nagchampion kami siya rin yung nandoon eh. Thankful ako na napunta din ako sa systema ni Coach Randy and happy ako naturuan ako niyan,” said Gozum, the NCAA Season 93 Juniors MVP.

“Sobrang nagagalingan ako sa kanila and talagang deserve nilang pumuntang Finals.”

With his former school on its way to the finals, Gozum turns his attention to his own future as he looks forward to a career in the pros.

Only time will tell where Gozum’s career will take him, but the former NCAA MVP has both the Mapua community and the Benilde community rooting for him.

Written By

Vito Martin is a sportswriter from the Philippines. In 2023, he graduated from the Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in BS Psychology. He wrote for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covered basketball, football, baseball, badminton, and other collegiate sports. He is a life-long fan of the Boston Celtics and an avid follower of the NBA


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