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Palaro MVP Yu eager to bring leadership to UE

TAGUM CITY, Philippines – As he joins the University of the East Red Warriors this coming season, Fran Yu is looking forward to taking charge for the championship-hungry squad.

"Yung playmaking ability ko and leadership (My playmaking ability and leadership)," Yu, 16, told Rappler what he can bring to the table for UE come UAAP Season 78.

The Chiang Kai Shek point guard made a stronger case for himself to get major minutes in just his rookie year with an impressive performance for National Capital Region at the Palarong Pambansa, where he led the region to its first secondary boys basketball title since 2012.

Lanky at 5-foot-8, Yu withstood the physicality of finals foes Central Luzon for the 79-61 rout on Saturday, May 9 and dropped 19 points, including key baskets to keep their opponents at bay.

His performance earned him the Most Valuable Player plum along with a Mythical Five citation.

"First time namin sumali dito e kaya sobrang blessed talaga kami," he remarked of the victory, "wala na kami masasabi."

(It's our first time here so we feel very blessed, we're speechless.)

Yu, also named Finals MVP for this year's Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship Ironcon Builders Cup, seems like a good fit for the Red Warriors, which lost a couple of veteran guards in Roi Sumang and Gino Jumao-as.

He also looks up to Sumang as well as UE legends Paul Lee and James Yap.

"Si Roi naka-chat ko. Good luck daw sa career," Yu shared, adding he expects to begin training with the Warriors next week. (I got to chat with Roi. He told me good luck with my career.)

UE will sport a new look in the coming season as it also lost imports Charles Mammie and Moustapha Arafat. The Warriors missed out on a trip to the Final Four last season, losing in a close playoff battle for 4th seed against eventual champions National University. – Rappler.com