Freshmen dominate top UAAP achievers
MANILA, Philippines—It’s A rookie class like no other.
Young and gifted, National University’s Ray Parks and the Ateneo duo of Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter made it a UAAP season to remember with terrific performances not often seen from the league’s fresh talents.
The 18-year-old Parks formally received the Most Valuable Player award in the men’s basketball tournament Saturday after a phenomenal debut that had him finishing in the top 10 of every statistical department.
“For me personally, it’s a good stepping stone just to prove that I can really play, but now I’m trying to bring my team up,” said Parks, who piled up a league-best 66.64 statistical points (SP).
Genetically blessed for having seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks as a father, the young Parks carried the Bulldogs’ scoring load to average a league-best 20 points a game.
Parks also showcased his all-around game by norming 6.5 rebounds (seventh overall), 2.9 assists (ninth), 1.1 steals (seventh) and 1.1 blocks (10th).
Ravena, another second generation player, bagged the Rookie of the Year plum after collecting 56.35 SP.
Parks isn’t eligible for the rookie plum since only players fresh off high school are qualified. The league citations were solely based on statistics after the 14-game eliminations.
“It went by so fast. In the first game I felt the pressure, but after that, I got the monkey off my back,” said Ravena, the son of Bong Ravena—also the top rookie winner in the 1992 PBA season—and former volleyball player Mozzy.
The 17-year-old Ravena, whose young career has been closely watched, averaged 13.1 points, 4.2 boards, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals.
Slaughter, the tallest player the league has seen at seven feet, also provided instant impact on both ends to finish second in the MVP race with 63.35 SP.
A Filipino-American who traces his roots in Cebu, Slaughter got his way at the paint too often to norm 13.3 markers, 9.4 boards, 1.4 assists and 1.9 blocks.
The talented trio led the Mythical Team that also includes Adamson’s Alex Nuyles, (59 SP, 15.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Far Eastern University’s Aldrech Ramos (57.57 SP, 11.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.5 apg).
FEU’s RR Garcia, last year’s MVP, earned the Jollibee Champ of the Year (P40,000) and the PS Bank Maasahan Player of the Year (P75,000) special awards.
FEU swept the two other MVPs with Jerie Pingoy copping the juniors honor (76.35 SP) and Raiza Palmera topping the women’s division (71.71 SP).
Pingoy, the 16-year-old son and namesake of the former PBA cager, also led the juniors Mythical Team composed of Ateneo’s Kristoffer Porter, NU’s Raphael Atangan and La Salle Zobel’s Alexander Torres and Gabriel Reyes. Ateneo’s Tomas Ramos emerged as top rookie.
Joining Palmera in the women’s team were FEU’s Allana Lim, La Salle’s Aracelie Abaca, Adamson’s Anna Buendia and NU’s Kristina Tolentino. The top rookie award went to NU’s Gemma Miranda.
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