NCAA: Akhuetie, dela Cruz lead MVP race after 1st round
A nip-and-tuck battle for the Most Valuable Player award is shaping as the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament’s second round begins this week.
Bright Akhuetie of Perpetual and Art dela Cruz of San Beda are battling for the top plum, leading their respective squads to a tie for the second spot at 7-2 after the first round.
The Altas’ Nigerian rookie is currently at the top spot as he led the league in scoring with 21.33 points, and is at the top 10 in three other statistical categories, namely rebounds (fourth with 12.44 rebounds), steals (sixth with 2.0 steals), and blocks (10th with 1.0 block).
Dela Cruz, meanwhile, is chasing him with an average of 19.67 points (second in the league), 12.56 boards (third), and 6.11 assists (third).
But they are not just the two who are vying for the award.
Reigning MVP Earl Scottie Thompson of Perpetual is also making a case for a back-to-back, tallying three triple-doubles and normed 14 points, 11.44 rebounds, 8.89 dimes, and 1.56 steals through nine games.
Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano also has an argument for the award, registering 14.33 points, 5.89 boards, 8.89 assists, and 3.0 steals, as Allwell Oraeme of host Mapua rounds out the top five with 17.56 markers and league-best 19.11 rebounds and 4.22 blocks. JE
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