collegiate basketball

Will Gozum lives up to preseason hype with NCAA Player of the Week award

JR Isaga
Will Gozum lives up to preseason hype with NCAA Player of the Week award

LEADING THE WAY. CSB star Will Gozum in the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament.

Angela Davocol/GMA Sports

Will Gozum - the lone member of the NCAA Season 97 Mythical Team still in the league - continues to lead the CSB Blazers in their bid to end a two-decade Final Four drought

MANILA, Philippines – Coming into the NCAA Season 98, CSB all-around big man Will Gozum was hyped as one of the league’s must-see stars and even as a very early MVP candidate.

Following the exits of Rhenz Abando, Justin Arana, JM Calma, and Jeo Ambohot, the 6-foot-6 bruiser is the only Season 97 Mythical Five member still left in the Grand Old League, and he is looking every bit of the star everyone expected him to be.

Even though CSB lost to two-time defending champion Letran, 75-81, after an 81-64 rout of Perpetual, Gozum did enough to win the season’s second Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week award presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

The 23-year-old slotman stuffed the stat sheet with averages of 19.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks through those two games to earn the weekly honor backed by minor sponsors MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey.

Despite a torrid start to the season for CSB, Gozum is not letting the praises get to his head, especially since the Blazers have yet to snap a 21-year Final Four drought.

“It’s a long season and awards like the MVP are just bonuses for me. I want the bigger chip because that’s where the whole team and CSB community will be happy,” said the former UP prospect.

“I’m letting them know that I got their back. I’m trying to let them calm whenever we reach those pressure moments.”

Gozum edged the Letran backcourt duo of Fran Yu and Brent Paraiso, San Beda’s James Kwekuteye, and Lyceum’s Mac Guadaña for the award decided upon by print and online scribes regularly covering the league. –

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