In the previous eight installments of MVP Watch, a total of ten players from six teams have appeared at least once in this weekly list of the top five contenders for the elusive UAAP MVP award. And for the ninth and final time this season, it is only fitting and proper that we feature the five most exceptional individuals who stand out this season. Without further ado, here now is the UAAP Season 76 MVP Watch: Mythical Five.

Emmanuel Mbe (NU)

Points Rebounds Steals Minutes True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
Statistical
Points
14.9 11.2 0.9 30.9 55.5% 24.2% 63.57
(Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

Emmanuel Mbe makes it to the Mythical Team for the second time in his UAAP career.  (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

NU’s reliable slotman Emmanuel Mbe is one of the two foreign centers that made it to the Mythical Five this season. With Bobby Ray Parks’ offensive woes showing up for a significant part of the season, NU leaned on the broad shoulders of Mbe as he consistently piled up double-doubles (11 in total this season). And when Parks finally found his groove towards the closing stages of the elimination round, Mbe remained a juggernaut inside for Bulldogs. His season-long consistency was very remarkable that he even squeaked into the top spot in Week 7 of MVP Watch.

Whether Mbe admits it or not, the ineligibility of NU’s other foreigner big man Alfred Aroga this season was a blessing in disguise. It paved way for more minutes and more responsibility for him. And rightfully so, he responded with a very outstanding season which featured a 17-point 11-rebound in fourth quarter in Bulldogs’ near comeback against FEU.

With a twice-to-beat advantage in NU’s hands when they face UST in the Final Four, Mbe surely wants to finish his collegiate career with a bang. He’ll definitely be a vital piece in NU’s quest to end their 59-year championship drought.

Roi Sumang (UE)

Points Rebounds Assists Minutes True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
Statistical
Points
19.3 5.3 4.5 35.7 47.7% 27.2% 64.00
(Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News Online)

Roi Sumang almost carried UE Red Warriors to Final Four. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News Online)

Due to the injury he sustained in UE’s loss to Ateneo, it is unfortunate that we only got to see Shejroi Sumang (you got to love his first name) at least two games less than we should this season. Nevertheless, we simply cannot forget his sensational performance this year that was totally a delight to watch. How can we forget the four-point play against the solid defense of Bobby Ray Parks with few seconds left in their first victory of the season? How about the game-winning layup over Karim Abdul in the second round? Sumang has just a lot of heroic tricks hidden in his sideburns.

No player carries as much responsibility for a team than Roi Sumang does. UE wouldn’t be close to a .500 team without him. He is the heart and soul of UE Red Warriors and hopefully, he, along with his badass super sideburns, comes back better and stronger next season.

Karim Abdul (UST)

Points Rebounds Blocks Minutes True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
Statistical
Points
16.4 12.1 2.0 33.0 49.0% 27.0% 70.93
(Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

Strong second round by Karim Abdul earned him another Mythical team selection.  (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, NPPA Images)

For the first time in UAAP history, there will be two foreign players that made the cut for Mythical Five. In the early going of the season, it was a distant idea that Karim Abdul will contend for MVP award even if he was a member of the Mythical Five selection in the previous two seasons. Jeric Teng was off to a scorching start this season which put him to be secondary option in their offense. That was the case until Jeoffrey Javillonar happened. In the first game without Teng, Abdul registered an impressive line of 25 points and 13 rebounds in their win over UE. From them on, Abdul went back to the monster he was.

Game after game, he battled it out with the best centers (arguably the deepest position in this league with the flux of foreigners), and he managed to hold his ground. He was so spectacular in the second round, averaging 19.1 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, which makes you forget his unimpressive start this season.  And in the do-or-die game against Ateneo, Abdul made a compelling late MVP case as he tallied 25 points, nine rebounds and five blocks to help UST book the last ticket to Final Four.

In his three years in the UAAP, Abdul has encountered a lot of impressive centers with the likes of Greg Slaughter, Charles Mammie and Mbe. But none of them might be as polished and hardworking as Abdul is. Being in the Mythical Five in all his three seasons provides a super solid case that he is the best center in the UAAP for some time.

Bobby Ray Parks (NU)

Points Rebounds Assists Minutes True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
Statistical
Points
18.3 8.4 3.8 31.6 47.9% 30.2% 73.86
(Photo Credit: Pinoyxchange.com)

Bobby Ray Parks came a bit short in his quest for an unprecedented third straight MVP plum. (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

Entering NU’s 14th game of the season, mainman Bobby Ray Parks was leading the league in statistical points, the sole basis to determine the season MVP. He was on the cusp of bagging his third straight MVP plum, which could have been an unprecedented feat. To his credit, he did put up a solid line against Ateneo with 24 points, seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. However, it was not good enough to trump the eventual MVP.

By Bobby Ray Parks standards, this was not a good season individually. He was struggling offensively for most part of the season, shooting only 35.9% from the field which is way below than the 40.9% clip he had in his first two seasons. Luckily, he was able to shot the ball better towards the end of second round, just like in their 17-point rout of UP where he had a season-high 30  points on 12-20 shooting.

While he did not keep at par with his scoring numbers from the previous two MVP seasons, he still managed to chalk up huge numbers in other departments with his all-around brilliance. Nevertheless, what matters for him perhaps more than all his stats is the fact that the Bulldogs have now clinched the top spot entering the Final Four.

With the improvement of the NU’s role players, the likes of Gelo Alolino, Robin Rono and Dennice Villamor, the two-time MVP is now dead eye focused on the most coveted prize in basketball, a championship — that eluded him in the previous two years when he was the most dominant player in the league and that eluded the National University for 59 years.

Terrence Romeo (FEU)

Points Rebounds Assists Minutes True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
Statistical
Points
22.2 6.3 3.9 31.1 47.7%  37.4% 75.29
Terrence (Photo Credit: George  Calvelo NPPA Images)

All hail the UAAP Season 76 MVP Terrence Romeo. (Photo Credit: George Calvelo, NPPA Images)

Last but certainly not the least (because he is the best) in the Mythical Five is the UAAP Season 76 MVP Terrence Romeo who sat at the summit of the MVP Watch in the first six weeks. Thanks to his huge all-around numbers (33 points, nine rebounds and five assists) in FEU’s final elimination game against the winless UP Fighting Maroons, Romeo was able to wrest the MVP award away from Parks.

Bro, as the online community fondly calls him recently, opened his account of the 76th season in a spectacular fashion with an almost triple-double performance in FEU’s win over UE. With his helter-skelter type of basketball, he thrived in the dribble drive motion employed by Nash Racela and finally played beautiful basketball alongside backcourt partner RR Garcia as the Tamaraws went on to a surprising first round sweep.

However, second round was not a walk in the park for him and his team as they lost four of their first five assignments. People started criticizing him for his selfish ways in the closing seconds which resulted to a loss to NU. Some even questioned his maturity and compared him to Parks who is known as a willing passer if situation calls for. But as awesome as Romeo and his hair is, he just shrugged off all the negativity and hate he was getting. He continued to be that ball-dominant player that he is. He continued dribbling the ball effortlessly and pulling off those fancy jumpers he loves to take. He continued breaking the hearts of the opponents’ fans with his clutch shots, just like against UE in double overtime. Romeo then closed out the season by posting back-to-back season high in points (32 against Adamson and then 33 against UP) to steer the Tamaraws to 10-4 record.

With 56 games in the elimination round this season now in the books, let us all hail FEU’s Terrence Romeo, the UAAP Season 76 MVP.


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