UST center Abdul ahead of Parks in MVP chaseBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas’ Karim Abdul has taken the lead over reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Ray Parks of National University for the top individual plum this season.
Abdul, a 6-foot-6 Cameroonian center, amassed a league-best 81.71 statistical points (SP) to edge the second-running Parks (76.71 SP) at the end of the first round of men’s basketball.
Disqualified from the MVP race last year due to a game suspension, Abdul moved into contention this time by leading the league in rebounds with 13.6 boards per game aside from averaging a second-best 17.6 points, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks.
“He has been very consistent,” UST coach Pido Jarencio said of Abdul, who delivered a double-double production in all but one of the Tigers’ seven first-round games.
Parks, however, makes a strong case for back-to-back MVPs after topping three of five statistical categories.
The 19-year-old Parks leads the league in points (20.7 ppg), assists (5.0 apg) and steals (1.9 spg) aside from norming 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
“You’re only as good as your last game,” said Parks, the son of seven-time PBA best import Bobby Parks.
Ateneo center Greg Slaughter ranked third (68.14 SP) with averages of 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.9 blocks, followed by FEU guard Terrence Romeo (66.14 SP), who tallied 16.7 markers, 6.3 boards, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals.
La Salle’s Jeron Teng, a shoo-in for the top rookie plum, landed fifth (58.28 SP) by averaging 16.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
UST and Ateneo each had three players in the top 10 of the MVP race based on the numbers released by Imperium Technology-Smart Bro yesterday.
Other top performers are NU’s Emmanuel Mbe (57.42 SP-13.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg), Teng’s older brother Jeric of UST (56 SP-16 ppg), Ateneo’s Nico Salva (55 SP-14.6 ppg), UST’s Aljon Mariano (53.85 SP-12 ppg) and Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena (53.14 SP-13.7 ppg).