NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 2
With the collegiate season in full swing, INQUIRER lists the week’s top seven performers in the ongoing NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament. From their game statistics to their overall impact on the outcomes, everything is weighed to come up with the best players from the week that was.
Parity was in full view this week in the NCAA.
All 10 teams are now in the win column, assuring that there won’t be any records of futility set this year.
League pacesetter Lyceum had to sweat it out against fellow preseason favorite San Sebastian, while San Beda went 2-0 in its considerably light schedule this week.
Most of the commotion was in the middle, with teams jostling for position this early as they acknowledge the impact one win can play at the end of the tourney.
But as always, the spotlight is on the players and here’s our list for the week’s top seven performers.
(1) Kent Salado – G, Arellano Chiefs
25 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
Last Week: 7
If there are still any doubters on Kent Salado’s status as Arellano’s main man, the speedy playmaker just basically silenced them for good.
The Cagayan de Oro native drained the gutsy game-winner in overtime to lift the Chiefs to a tight 73-72 victory over Jose Rizal University.
Heroics like this will be the ones to solidify Salado’s lore in Legarda, as he was quick to make up for his crucial free throw misses in regulation and take charge in extra period.
Coach Jerry Codiñera may still miss Jio Jalalon from time-to-time, but having Salado in his corner is not too bad of a replacement.
(2) CJ Perez – F, Lyceum Pirates
20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Last Week: 1
Last week’s top performer suffered a slight dip in the rankings, thanks largely to his eight turnovers in Lyceum’s 78-73 win against San Sebastian compared to Salado’s six.
But as coach Topex Robinson said, CJ Perez is going to win some and lose some for Lyceum this season.
Fortunately, the losing part has yet to happen through three games as the Pirates stand as the lone unbeaten team in the league so far.
It will be an interesting tiff, though, next Tuesday, with Perez and Salado set to cross paths when Lyceum takes on Arellano.
(3) Jed Mendoza – G, JRU Heavy Bombers
13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists
Last Week: N/A
JRU is still Tey Teodoro’s team, but it won’t hurt if it finds its cornerstone for the future.
Jed Mendoza has come out of nowhere for the Heavy Bombers, inserting himself as a reliable cog for coach Vergel Meneses.
The 21-year-old rising star has definitely made his imprint this past week, drilling the game-tying three with two-tenths of a second remaining in regulation to force overtime against Arellano.
Though the game ended in a loss, Mendoza made sure that it would no longer be the case when the Heavy Bombers faced Letran, firing 17 points to lead his side to the W.
(4) Robert Bolick – G, San Beda Red Lions
9.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals
Last Week: 3
San Beda may have went 2-0 this past week, but Robert Bolick’s campaign took a hit because of the caliber of his team’s opponents.
Blowing away St. Benilde and Emilio Aguinaldo College, the senior guard has allowed his other teammates to take the limelight as he prospers in doing the dirty work for the Red Lions.
Bolick may not lead his team in scoring, but his impact for San Beda is undeniable as his veteran leadership keeps the engine going for the Mendiola crew.
As the old saying goes, numbers don’t lie.
(5) AJ Coronel – F, Perpetual Altas
10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Last Week: N/A
With its season-opening victory being forfeited, Perpetual had to go to Intramuros just to make that first victory official.
And the one to shine when it mattered the most? AJ Coronel.
The swingman came through in the last two minutes, stringing five straight points to overturn a close 56-55 deficit to a four-point advantage, 60-56.
Coronel’s efforts allowed the Altas to pull off the 63-60 conquest, with his near double-double showing enough to hush the raucous Mapua crowd.
(6) Jeo Ambohot – C, Letran Knights
10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.0 assist, 1.0 steal
Last Week: N/A
Spotlight may be on Rey Nambatac and Bong Quinto, but don’t turn your back on Letran’s frontline, especially Jeo Ambohot.
The 20-year-old big man has slowly found his niche in coach Jeff Napa’s system, finishing off the Knights’ pick-and-roll plays to solidify the team’s inside-out attack.
Expect more from this 6-foot-5 slotman going forward as he’s bound to gain more confidence with his impressive showing this past week.
(7) Michael Calisaan – F, San Sebastian Golden Stags
28 points, 12 rebounds
Last Week: 5
San Sebastian may have lost its lone game this week, a tight 78-73 defeat at the hands of league-leader Lyceum, but that will not overshadow Michael Calisaan’s standout performance.
Firing a season-best 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds is no joke, especially with Calisaan being guarded by Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu.
The statline becomes more impressive if you account Calisaan doing most of the damage for the undersized Golden Stags against a relentless crew like the Pirates.
Calisaan may have gotten those numbers, but for sure, the senior forward wants nothing more but to rack up wins in the games to come.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
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