Kouame, Lucero emerge as frontrunners for UAAP MVP race

Ateneo big man Ange Kouame and University of the Philippines forward Zavier Lucero emerged as the frontrunners of the Most Valuable Player race in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

Ange Kouame of Ateneo and Zavier Lucero of University of the Philippines (UAAP Media Bureau)

As the league took a short break in observance of the Holy Week, Kouame and Lucero found themselves in a tight contest for the MVP honor after eight games.

READ: Lucero emerges as top scorer, Kouame leads in rebounds after UAAP first round

The first game of the second round kicked off Tuesday, April 12 and based on the statistical points, Kouame only led by a slim 1.0 after garnering 68.0 while Lucero registered 67.0.

De La Salle star Justine Baltazar followed suit at distant third with 58.0 while UP rookie Carl Tamayo and Far Eastern University center Emmanuel Ojuola tied at fourth with 57.0.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo with 53.0 while Jerom Lastimosa of Adamson, RJ Abarrientos and Ljay Gonzales of FEU, and Malick Diouf of UP all marked 50.0

While it’s too early to dictate, Kouame and Lucero clearly separated themselves as the most deserving of the MVP award given the tight matchup in their statistical points.

The Gilas Pilipinas naturalized center had a total of 97 points, 95 rebounds, five assists, six steals, 19 blocks and 18 turnovers compared to the UP’s do-it-all forward with 123 points, 66 rebounds, 14 assists, 14 steals, eight blocks, and 19 turnovers.

There are still six game days left and many things will still unfold as the UAAP resumes its operations next Tuesday, April 19.

Reigning champions Blue Eagles remained unbeaten in eight games, also their 34th straight win since 2018, while the Fighting Maroons earned a 7-1 record, their longest win streak yet since the Final Four Era began.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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