The UAAP season has just begun and with just ten matches in the books, we are already being treated to a delightful UAAP Season 76 with fans already witnessing great comebacks and individual clutch moments.
In this space, we will look at the season’s MVP candidates and rank them accordingly. Here are the five early frontrunners for the MVP plum as we take a look at their recent performances.
5. Emmanuel Mbe, NU
Season 76 Stats: 16 ppg, 59.1% TS, 13 rpg, 1 bpg
The 6’7” slotman has been the steadiest player for NU Bulldogs in their two games as they went 1-1. He’s providing the solid presence inside the paint for a NU team that is loaded with perimeter players. He simply toyed with Ateneo’s frontcourt in their first game and against UE, with two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks firing blanks in a painful loss, Mbe steered NU’s offense with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
4. Jericho Cruz, AdU
Season 76 Stats: 17 ppg, 40.6% TS, 7 rpg, 3.5 apg
In Adamson’s first game, UP’s defense was simply outmaneuvered by the speedy Cruz as he continuously attacked towards the basket and bagged 19 points and six boards. Meanwhile, we witnessed the playmaking side of him against UST as he dished out seven assists but it was not enough to push Adamson to hold its ground against a second half flurry by UST.
3. Jeric Teng, UST
Season 76 Stats: 19 ppg, 45.3% TS, 6 rpg, 1.5 apg
Year by year, we are enthralled by Jeric Teng’s improvement as a baller. And in his final year at the collegiate ranks, he’s making an early statement that he’s among the MVP contenders. Teng piloted the Tigers to a 63-58 triumph versus DLSU with 23 points and six boards. In the come-from-behind victory against Adamson, he notched 13 of his 15 points in the second half as the Growling Tigers remain unscathed and unbeaten in the early rounds of the tournament.
2. Roi Sumang, UE
Season 76 Stats: 20.5 ppg, 49.1% TS, 5.5 rpg, 2.5 apg
Buried a 25-foot triple and in the process fished a foul from the reigning two-time MVP to deliver your team’s first win. Sounds like a dream but, Sumang did just that against Parks and NU Bulldogs. Is there a team in the UAAP that relies more on one player than UE and Sumang? In their opening day loss against FEU, he had a stellar game as he posted an all-around performance with 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. It’s still early in the season, but something tells me that this will be a very interesting year for Sumang and the UE Red Warriors.
1. Terrence Romeo, FEU
Season 76 Stats: 21.3 ppg, 53.0% TS, 13 rpg, 5.3 apg
Terrence and the porcupine in his head are on a class above everyone else right now. He’s putting up the same insane numbers, much like the My Player you created in NBA 2K13. Against UE, he was a rebound shy of a triple-double and against the blue Eagles, he delivered six crucial points in the overtime period to seal the win for the Tamaraws. Oh, and he can be deadly efficient too, putting up 20 points in just 19 minutes in their blowout win against the Maroons. Once known as a ball-hog, Romeo has shown (at least in their first three games), that he has matured and is ready to take his team to the top this season. Personally, I have to give it to his new-found selflessness, all-around game, good shot selection and better chemistry with RR Garcia as the most beautiful thing to watch in the UAAP right now.