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

University of the Philippines’ do-it-all forward Zavier Lucero emerged as the top scorer after the first round of the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

Zavier Lucero of University of the Philippines soars for a layup against Ange Kouame of Ateneo (UAAP Media Bureau)

Lucero, in seven games, averaged 15.29 points per game built on a 71.7 shooting percentage at the two-point range and 84.21 percent shooting from the free-throw line.

The 6-foot-6 Filipino-American swingman, who caught fire and scored 27 points in UP’s 83-76 win over Far Eastern University, also tied Adamson’s Vince Magbuhos in steals with 2.0.

FEU combo guard RJ Abarrientos trailed Lucero in scoring with 14.86 while Adamson star Jerom Lastimosa tallied 14.43.

Abarrientos erupted with 33 points in the Tamaraws’ 73-68 loss to the National University Bulldogs, the season’s highest-scoring output so far.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Kris Harvey Pagsanjan of University of the East (13.86), Sherwin Concepcion of University of Santo Tomas (13.43), Joshua Fontanilla of UST (12.86), Ange Kouame of Ateneo (12.86), Justine Baltazar of De La Salle (12.71), and Nic Cabanero of UST and Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo (12.57).

Lucero had the most efficient two-point field goal percentage, followed by Ateneo’s BJ Andrade with 70.0 percent and SJ Belangel with 65.52 percent.

Ateneo team captain Gian Mamuyac was the league’s best three-point shooter yet with a 44.0 percentage while Xyrus Torres came in second with 43.9 percent.

Blue Eagles Tyler Tio and Jolo Mendoza both registered 41.67 shooting percentage from beyond the arc to tie at third.

READ: Tio fires 17 as Ateneo zooms past FEU; Tio catches fire anew as Ateneo cruises past UST

Kouame, who is also Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized center, was king in the rebounding department as he grabbed 12.29, FEU’s Emmanuel Ojoula followed suit with 12.0, and Lenda Douanga of Adamson had 10.29.

Ojuola, on the other hand, reigned supreme in offensive rebounds with 5.43, De La Salle’s energizer bunny Michael Phillips followed suit with 4.86, and Kouame had 4.29.

Kouame’s defense was evident and became the Eagles’ blocking machine with 2.57, UP big man Malick Diouf listed 1.86 while Douanga and Phillips both chalked up 1.43 in the blocking unit.

Another Fighting Maroon in Joel Cagulangan led the leaderboard in assists after dishing out 4.43. Clint Escamis of UE registered 4.29 while Lastimosa also joined the party with 3.71.

Both Escamis and De La Salle’s Deschon Winston also had the most steals with 2.14.

UST playmaker Fontanilla, unfortunately, made the most turnovers with 4.43 while Winston and Douanga trailed with 3.43 and 2.86, respectively.

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