LA SALLE’S Cameroonian center Ben Mbala will clinch the season MVP award in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament by topping the statistical race in runaway fashion after the elimination round.
Mbala, who will become the first Green Archer to capture the MVP honors since Don Allado won the league’s highest individual honors in 1999, collected 92.4286 statistical points in the figures released yesterday by Imperium Technological.
Leading La Salle to a 13-1 record, the best since 2002, Mbala tallied double-double in every game he played this year, averaging a league-bests 20.6 points, 16 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contests.
The last foreign player to win the MVP was American Anthony Williams of Far Eastern University in the early 80s.
Adamson’s Papi Sarr, also a slotman from Cameroon, was at far second with 69.8571 SPs.
Sarr, who powered the Falcons to their first Final Four appearance since 2011, posted averages of 14.4 points and 14.9 rebounds this season.
Rounding up the Top 5 in the statistical race are La Salle’s Jeron Teng (57.3333), University of the Philippines Paul Desiderio (55.1429) and FEU’s Raymar Jose (53.6429).
Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi ruled the Rookie of the Year race with 44.5 SPs, beating fellow teammate Rob Manalang (37.4286) in the process.
Ahanmisi, the younger brother of pro cager Maverick, averaged 13.1 points, 3.1 boards and 1.9 assists this season for the Falcons, who will face the Green Archers in the Final Four next week.
In the women’s division, National University guard Afril Bernardino topped the MVP race for the second straight year, defeating her teammates Gemma Miranda and Jack Daniel Animam.
Bernardino, who led the Lady Bulldogs to another 14-0 elimination round sweep, tallied 19.4 points, 10.1 boards, 4.6 steals and four assists for contest.
Meanwhile, Ateneo seeks a second straight men’s crown, while University of Santo Tomas eyes a three-peat in the women’s division as the UAAP judo championship opens today at the
Sports Pavilion inside the De La Salle-Zobel campus in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa.
The Blue Eagles are expected to face a stiff competition from the Growling Tigers, who ruled the event two years ago.
UST, which defeated University of the East via a large margin last season, is tipped to win in the distaff side.
In the juniors division, the Tiger Cubs, who dethroned the Blue Eaglets in the boys division last season, will enter the two-day event as heavy favorites.
UST will also defend its crown in the girls division, which is a demonstration event last year.
The juniors’ matches will be held in the morning, while the seniors’ bouts will be played in the afternoon.