The UP Fighting Maroons’ Malick Diouf is set to be named Most Valuable Player of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament after he topped the statistical race at the end of the second round.
Diouf garnered 73.857 statistical points (SPs) according to figures released by the league Saturday to edge out Ateneo point guard Forthsky Padrigao who got 71.571 SPs. Padrigao’s teammate and Season 84 MVP Ange Kouame (70.786) came in third, followed by the UE Red Warriors’ Luis Villegas (69.857), the DLSU Green Archers’ Evan Nelle (68.091), Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso (64.929), UP’s Carl Tamayo (63.429), and FEU’s Lj Gonzales (62.385).
Diouf posted averages of 10.79 points, 10.86 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.57 blocks per game while shooting 50.94% from the field.
Erstwhile MVP leader Schonny Winston (62.1) of DLSU tumbled to ninth place in a tie with teammate Mike Philips after missing four games and playing sparingly in the last three games due to a calf injury.
Kouame and Nelle, though, will not be named to the Mythical Five for different reasons. Since only one foreign student athlete can be named to the Mythical Five, Kouame will not make the cut. Nelle is disqualified from winning any individual awards after being suspended for two games for excessive unsportsmanlike fouls. Ildefonso and Tamayo will take their places.
La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao, who came in 14th with 56.615 SPs, is a lock to win Rookie of the Year.
Diouf will become fifth straight FSA to be named MVP after Ben Mbala, Bright Akhuetie, Solemane Chabi Yo and Kouame and the first from UP since Akhuetie. Aside from Kouame and Akhuetie, Fort Acuña in 1968 is the only other UP player to have been named UAAP MVP. Eric Altamirano won finals MVP in 1986, but the league did not hand out any other individual awards that season.
In other major statistical categories, the UST Growling Tigers’ Nic Cabañero was the leading scorer with 17.62 points per game while his teammate Adama Faye topped the rebounding department (12.23). Nelle was the top assists man (5.91), Kouame led in blocks (2.57) and Padrigao tied with DLSU’s Mark Nonoy in steals (2.36).
In the shooting percentage categories, UE’s Jalen Stevens led in total field goal percentage after making 61.22% of his shots. Ateneo’s Kai Ballungay copped top honors in two-point field goal percentage (62.32%), UP’s Terrence Fortea was the top marksman from three-point territory (41.27%) and Nelle was near-perfect from the free throw line, going 22 of 23 for 95.65%.
In the women’s division, UST’s Eka Soriano was the runaway winner with 92.286 SPs, followed by Ateneo Kacey Dela Rosa (77.0) and Jhazmine Joson (74.714).