Second-choice Noah rewards coach’s faith with Finals MVP performance
Cameroonian Arnold Noah wasn’t even San Beda coach Jamike Jarin’s first-choice import for NCAA Season 92.
That recognition belonged to Donald Tankoua, a member of the Red Lions 2015 squad that lost the title to Letran.
But when the 6-foot-6 Tankoua suffered a season-ending ACL injury just two games into the second round of the season, the 6-foot-3 Noah was thrust into the limelight.
Rising to the challenge, Noah saved his best game for last Tuesday night when he led the Lions with 18 points in the title-clinching 83-73 victory that completed a sweep of the Arellano Chiefs in the best-of-three finals at Mall of Asia Arena.
The performance was enough to give Noah the Finals MVP award, besting teammates Dan Sara and Robert Bolick, the hero in Game 1.
“When we lost Donald, I thought I should really step up and help the team,” said Noah. “I saw my friend (Donald) really down because of the injury. I just looked at us and I saw who can make up for his stats. We worked together as a team (to overcome Donald’s absence).”
Noah was actually the unlikely choice as the Lions’ second foreign player. But Jarin said Noah’s versatility put him on the roster instead of 6-9 Eugene Toba.
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