MANILA, Philippines – The search is on for the next UAAP MVP after the departure of two-time winner Ben Mbala from the De La Salle Green Archers.
And at the end of the Season 81 first round, new UP Fighting Maroons center Bright Akhuetie emerged as the early frontrunner candidate, accumulating 77 statistical points (SPs) based on the official numbers released by league statistician Imperium Technology on Saturday, October 13.
The former Perpetual Help Altas superstar has been as good as advertised so far, averaging 15.7 points, 15.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the 3-4 Maroons.
Right on his heels is UE Red Warriors lone star Alvin Pasaol, who tallied 71.5714 SPs.
Despite his team's 1-6 last place slate, the burly 6-foot-3 forward churned out norms of 23.7 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Red Warriors.
The league selects its MVP based solely on statistics.
Ateneo's 6-foot-10 Ivorian tower Angelo Kouame came in at third with 68.4286 SPs.
Not to be outdone, breakout big man Justine Baltazar from bitter rival La Salle checked in at fourth with 64.5714 SPs.
UP's rising sophomore star Juan Gomez de Liaño, who was also last season's Rookie of the Year, rounded out the top 5 with 60.5714 SPs.
Adamson sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi (57.7143), UST super rookie CJ Cansino (57.4286), Adamson big man Papi Sarr (55.8571), La Salle spitfire combo guard Aljun Melecio (55.2857) and Adamson captain Sean Manganti (54.0) completed the top 10.
Cansino, the last season's juniors MVP, is the only rookie in the top 10, making him the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year race.
NU's own rookie sensation Dave Ildefonso, a Mythical Five member in the juniors last year, landed at 13th place (48.8571). – Rappler.com