Welcome to the fifth installment of our UAAP Season 76 MVP Watch. With the two-week layoff over, Season 76 is back in full swing with the commencement of the 2nd round. There were notable (good and bad) performances from the top MVP contenders this week. Will these affect their respective cases for the much-coveted MVP plum? Let us see.

5. Karim Abdul (UST) (Previous Rank: 5)

Pts Rebs Mins True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
 14.8  11.5  32.3  50.1  24.6
(Photo Credit: Sydrified.org)

Karim Abdul of UST put up monstrous numbers in a  narrow loss. (Photo Credit: Sydrified.org)

How can you not give some love for Karim Abdul? He’s been a work horse for the UST Growling Tigers. In their sorry loss against the UE Red Warriors, he registered an impressive 23 points and 20 rebounds line. His tenacity was pretty much obvious from the get-go in that game as he pounded the ball continuously inside and fought for rebounds on every possible opportunity. But, for Abdul and UST, it was just unfortunate that one even more impressive thing happened late in that game (more on that below).

4. Emmanuel Mbe (NU) (Previous Rank: 4)

Pts Rebs Mins True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
16.8 11.6 30.8 58.1 25.2
(Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

NU’s Emmanuel Mbe is the dark horse of the MVP race. (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

If there is one dark horse in this MVP race, it must be Emmanuel Mbe. People don’t really appreciate Mbe for the star that he is in this league. Perhaps it’s beacuse he is being shadowed by his teammate Bobby Ray Parks who already has remarkable accolades under his belt. Nevertheless, Mbe appears to not care at all as he continues putting up impressive numbers. The NU center has already put up eight double-doubles in nine games this season.

If NU continues putting up impressive victories like their 32-point massacre over Adamson, Mbe might and should go higher in the MVP Watch (maybe even higher than Parks? We’ll see). Arguably, he is the most consistent among the MVP contenders and he deserves more love and MVP consideration than what he’s getting at present.

3. Bobby Ray Parks (NU) (Previous Rank: 2)

Pts Asts Mins True
Shooting %
Usage
Rate
17.2 4.2 31.0 44.1% 31.1%
(Photo Credit: Pinoyxchange.com)

We probably won’t see Bobby Ray Parks wearing those pink accessories anytime soon as he only shot 2-11 from the field in this game. (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

Even if Bobby Ray Parks is again going through some offensive struggles, he can and he certainly does find ways to lead the NU Bulldogs to wins. In their victory against FEU, he only scored seven points on 2-11 shooting, but his hustle plays in the closing moments of the game were vital in handing the Tamaraws their first loss of the season. Against Adamson, Parks had a relatively better shooting game, 7-12 FG, for 16 points (slightly lower than his season average) while also adding five assists, which goes to show that he is really doing his best to share the ball with his teammates and getting NU to play its best basketball of the season.

We are seeing a slightly different Parks as compared to his two MVP seasons. He really is no longer that player who just keeps on scoring to lead NU to wins. He’s now trusting his teammatss more as we see improved assists numbers from him this season. He looks focused than ever to get that UAAP title that he’s been chasing for three years now.

2. Roi Sumang (UE) (Previous Rank: 3)

Pts Asts Mins True
Shooting%
Usage
Rate
19.1 4.8 33.9 50.0 26.6
(Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News Online)

Once again, Roi Sumang of UE Red Warriors delivered a late-game specatacle. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News Online)

Blowing by an athletic and quick point guard in Ed Daquioag and escaping a shotblock attempt from a premier swatter in Karim Abdul to sneak in the game-winning layup. That’s what Roi Sumang did to the Tigers in the closing seconds of their game. Sumang never fails to turn dreams into reality as he once again delivered a sensational fourth quarter to lift UE Red Warriors to a one-point victory over the UST Growling Tigers.

Trailing after three quarters, the Red Warriors once again leaned on their spitfire point guard as he tallied 12 points (outscoring the entire UST team who had nine) and two assists in the final canto. There is no other player in this league like Sumang who carries this much responsibility for his team. And if he continues steering the Red Warriors to victories, there stands a chance that will soon take the top spot of the MVP Watch.

1. Terrence Romeo (FEU) (Previous Rank: 1)

Pts Asts Mins True
Shooting%
Usage
Rate
19.8 3.8 29.3 47.7 37.2
(Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

Getting a haircut did not stop Terrence Romeo’s 2nd round woes.(Photo Credit: PinoyExchange.com)

Two FEU losses plus two bad games this week are not enough yet to take Terrence Romeo out of the summit of our MVP Watch.  He is still the same guy from the 1st round who uses up most of FEU’s possessions. He’s still the helter-skelter baller who is a shoot-first, pass-later guard. It’s clear that this guy is just under a slump now and I fully expect him to snap out of it sooner than later. It surely didn’t help that he was being guarded really well in those two games, so kudos to Maurice Porter who defended him very well in their first loss of the season. Do not expect him to change his game anytime soon. As a primetime scorer who has an unparalleled confidence in himself,  he’ll continue shooting the ball just like he has does in his entire career. He’ll take that last shot even if it was not the designated play because he believes in himself too much and that is why he is one of the more entertaining characters on the court this season.

This is the steep price Terrence pays for putting up jaw-dropping numbers and leading the Tamaraws to an unbeaten record in the 1st round. People tend to be more critical once things go bad for Romeo and his team. If he wants to cement his position on the top of the MVP Watch, he has to silence his critics by leading his team back to winning ways.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comments section.

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