The 77th Season of UAAP has just begun, but it’s never too early to take note of the players who perform exceptionally and can be MVP contenders.
Below is our first installment of the MVP Watch based on the opening weekend games. Do you agree with our list? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comments section.
5. CHRIS JAVIER (UE)
Season 77 Stats: 12 ppg, 9 rpg, 1 apg
Red Warrior Chris Javier shot 67 percent from the field (6 makes out of 9 attempts) and grabbed nine boards in their opening day demolition of the UP Fighting Maroons. Although UE already has a towering presence in the paint – thanks to Charles Mammie and Moustapha Arafat – Javier is still vital to the team. He can particularly help the imports score at the low post and box out for rebounds. Oh, he can also drain crucial game-winning shots, which he became known for a couple of seasons back (when they won back-to-back against Ateneo and UP).
4. CHRIS NEWSOME (ADMU)
Season 77 Stats: 12 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 apg, 2 bpg
Sophomore Chris Newsome provides stability to the Blue Eagles. He’s the kind of guy who can score, grab boards, bring down the ball, and defend the best scorer of the opposite team. In their win versus Adamson, he contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He and Kiefer can be a deadly combination on the floor when they are able to connect and convert. They attempted an alley-oop slam in the first half, which would’ve been awesome but a Falcon defender spoiled it. Haha.
3. IVAN VILLANUEVA (ADU)
Season 77 Stats: 15 ppg, 9 rpg, 1 apg
Ivan Villanueva is the only one on this list who is: a) a rookie; and b) from a team who lost in the opening game. Adamson suffered a huge deficit all throughout the match against the Blue Eagles, but Ivan refused to give up. There was even a stretch when it seemed like he was the only one left fighting. This former Letran Squire (who I seriously thought was related to Beau Belga of Rain or Shine) found ways to penetrate the suffocating defense of Ateneo. He can be a threat both inside and outside. He made six of his nine field goal attempts, including one from downtown, and was a rebound shy from a double-double debut game.
2. MIKE TOLOMIA (FEU)
Season 77 Stats: 23 ppg, 3 rpg, 5 apg
No Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia? No worries, Mike Tolomia is still here! Tolomia was one-third of FEU’s go-to guys last season, and now that Terrence and RR are gone, he’s more than willing to step up to the challenge of leading the Tamaraws. In their upset victory over defending champs La Salle, Tolomia struggled on the get-go but he was able to find his groove later on, scoring 20 of his 23 points in the second half. He also contributed three rebounds and five assists.
1. KIEFER RAVENA (ADMU)
Season 77 Stats: 22 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 3 spg
Team Captain Kiever Ravena seems determined to make up for all lost time in Season 76 when he couldn’t play at his best because of his injury. In their first game against Adamson, Kiefer showcased his exceptional leaping ability (with two highlight-worthy dunks to boot) as if proving to the world that he’s now completely back in shape. He played an all-around game – orchestrating the offense, dishing assists to his teammates, and being unforgiving on defense. If he can sustain the energy he displayed in their opening game, then he might be part of this MVP list until the end of the season.
Over to you
Do you agree with this week’s list? Who’s your MVP? Tell us in the comments!