MVP-Rookie double for Cardinals star Oraeme
It seems that a championship trophy will be the only thing missing from Allwell Oraeme’s haul this season.
Mapua’s Nigerian center swept the top individual awards of NCAA Season 91, capturing the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year honors in a year where he led the Cardinals back to the Final Four for the first time since 2010.
The 6-foot-9 cager from Lagos normed 15.6 points, 21.3 rebounds and three blocks per outing to become only the third player to nail the MVP and ROY awards in the same season after Philippine Christian U’s Gabby Espinas in 2004 and San Beda’s Sam Ekwe in 2006.
“It feels like a dream and I feel blessed to be in this position,” said Oraeme, whose father is a pastor back in Lagos.
“It’s been rough the past two years. There was a time I wanted to give up but my coaches and teammates kept pushing me to improve.”
Oraeme needed to bulk up as he weighed just 175 pounds when he arrived in Manila.
“I will keep working hard to win a championship for Mapua.”
Oraeme who was also named Defensive Player of the Year, led the mythical five that included Arellano’s Jiovani Jalalon, San Beda’s Art dela Cruz and Perpetual Help’s Scottie Thompson and Bright Akhuetie.
Michael Calisaan of San Sebastian was named Most Improved Player.
Mike Enriquez made it a sweep of MVP honors for Mapua, winning the juniors’ award.
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