NCAA Season 93’s Best 7: Week 12
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 in the outcomes, everything is weighed to come up with the best players from the week that was.
We’re just three weeks away from ultimately weeding out the contenders from the pretenders, and for the teams still in the running in the Final Four race, they are hell-bent to grab those seats rather than see their championship aspirations go down the drain.
Two teams — Lyceum and San Beda — have already occupied the first two seats, while cellar-dwellers Mapua and St. Benilde are finally out of the running.
That leaves six more teams staking their claim for the last two tickets in the playoffs, and after another action-packed week, these teams once again went to their leaders to bolster their chances of making it to the final dance.
Here’s this week’s best players:
(1) CJ Perez – F, Lyceum Pirates
20.5 points (6/13 3PT), 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals
Last Week: 2
For the third straight time, CJ Perez topped our list and there wasn’t much of a debate at all.
The energetic forward remained the lynchpin in aiding Lyceum preserve its unblemished 15-0 record.
Perez showed his brilliance anew on Friday when he recorded a career-best 28 points in the Pirates’ 78-73 win over San Sebastian.
But coach Topex Robinson warned Perez that the immaculate record will be put to waste if Lyceum won’t be able to pull off the wins they need to get, especially with the tough grind ahead at the end of the eliminations.
(2) Bong Quinto – F, Letran Knights
20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Last Week: 1
Last week’s pacesetter remains near the top of our rankings as Bong Quinto helped Letran go 1-1 in a tough week.
Though the Knights bowed to the Golden Stags on Tuesday, the forward came out to played inspired basketball on Friday, registering a career-best 27 points in Letran’s 84-78 victory against EAC.
Quinto and team captain Rey Nambatac unleashed a stellar showing that could no doubt make their late coach Bob Lotuaco proud if he was alive today.
(3) MJ Ayaay – F, Lyceum Pirates
13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 block
Last Week: N/A
Call him Lyceum’s glue guy.
Also enough to merit the spotlight this week was Pirates forward MJ Ayaay, who has shown tenacity on both sides of the floor.
Though Perez has been the unbowed leader of Lyceum, Ayaay has been steadily churning out consistent numbers while being the one to do the dirty work on the floor for the Pirates.
But his mettle will be tested as Lyceum enters unchartered territory as it guns to sweep the eliminations in the final three outings.
(4) Robert Bolick – G, San Beda Red Lions
13 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists
Last Week: N/A
Look who’s back!
Jeramer Cabanag may have had his coming out party and Javee Mocon continued to showcase his worth for San Beda, but it was Robert Bolick, who has been making things work for coach Boyet Fernandez.
The senior guard flirted with a triple-double in the Red Lions’ 83-72 win over Arellano on Thursday in what could be a prelude for his strong finishing kick late this season.
With San Beda also dealing with a schedule heavy on contenders in its next four games, you can bet that Bolick can rekindle his form late in the elimination round and aid the Red Lions to extend its 12-game winning streak.
(5) Allyn Bulanadi – F, San Sebastian Golden Stags
17.5 points (4/13 3PT), 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steal
Last Week: N/A
After another even week for San Sebastian, we have to go with its most consistent performer.
And this week, it was Allyn Bulanadi.
The forward was part of the sweet-shooting crew that barraged Letran for a 94-64 beatdown on Tuesday, and kept the Golden Stags fighting against Lyceum up until the endgame before falling, 73-78.
Bulanadi’s emergence is a fresh sight for San Sebastian, as it spreads the scoring load more to the supporting crew aside from just relying to guys like Michael Calisaan and its troika of guards.
(6) MJ Dela Virgen – G, JRU Heavy Bombers
18 points (4/8 3PT), 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal
Last Week: N/A
Speaking of sweet-shooting, MJ Dela Virgen also had a week to remember.
The sophomore caught fire early and continued his torrid shooting in the endgame to go 50 percent from rainbow country in JRU’s 85-52 demolition of Perpetual.
Dela Virgen stepping up is another welcome development for coach Vergel Meneses, as the Heavy Bombers strengthened their grip of the third spot.
But the PBA legend is hoping that performances like these won’t be a one-off, as he preaches consistency going to JRU’s last four games.
(7) Laurenz Victoria – G, Mapua Cardinals
19 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal
Last Week: N/A
Mapua may be out, but showed it still has some fight left.
Little-known Laurenz Victoria sparked the Cardinals to their first win in three months, as they pulled the rug from under St. Benilde, 79-69, and took the Blazers to the grave with them.
Victoria’s late explosion, together with Denniel Aguirre, allowed Mapua to finally taste victory again as it snapped its inglorious 11-game losing streak.
With the skid now halted, Victoria and the rest of the Cardinals now have the confidence to seek upsets and gain some silver linings despite having a woeful season.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
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