Chabi Yo-led UST sets sights on Akhuetie, No. 2 UP in battle of MVPs
MANILA, Philippines—Shortly after powering University of Santo Tomas past Far Eastern University, USoulemane Chabi Yo knows the road to the UAAP title doesn’t get any easier with second-ranked University of the Philippines next.
The Growling Tigers face the Fighting Maroons, who own a twice-to-beat edge, in the next phase of the stepladder semifinals in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament in a matchup where Chabi Yo sees having little to no room for error.
“UP is the most talented team and we know we should not make mistakes and at at the same time we don’t have to be pressured,” said Chabi Yo after UST topped Far Eastern University, 81-71, in their knockout game Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We should play excellent defense because if we do that then we can get stops and that’s our mindset.”
Chabi Yo locked up the MVP plum after finishing with 76 statistical points throughout the eliminations averaging 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.
The Growling Tigers swept the Fighting Maroons in the elimination round, winning both games with an average margin of 11 points.
Chabi Yo added he just has to play within the UST system and not to take his matchup with Bright Akhuetie, last season’s MVP, on a personal basis.
“I have to know what I have to do and follow the system of coach (Aldin Ayo),” said Chabi Yo, who had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists against FEU. “Everybody will play with their talent as his advantage.”