UAAP: Malick Diouf shrugs off MVP win as UP vies for another title
MANILA, Philippines—Despite being the presumptive MVP of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, Malick Diouf does not want to be called that title just yet.
After leading the Fighting Maroons to their second straight league Finals appearance, Diouf admitted that he does not want to be referred to as the MVP.
In his eyes, winning back-to-back titles comes first.
“I won the MVP but it’s something individual. I am not thinking about it. I am thinking about the Finals because that is more important for the team,” said Diouf after his 17-point and 21-rebound performance on Wednesday in their 69-61 win against National University.
“I don’t like when people call me MVP,” he added in jest.
Coach Goldwin Monteverde also lauded the star center and said he is more than deserving of the award.
“I see Malick and his efforts in practice, even outside [of it] and the way he leads the team, every day he’s being an MVP for us,” the head tactician said.
Diouf zoomed past Ateneo’s Forthsky Padrigao and Ange Kouame in the MVP race with 73.857 statistical points (SP). Padrigao tallied 71.571 while Kouame got 70.786.
The 6-foot-11 averaged 10.8 and 10.9 rebounds per game in the eliminations. He is also the fifth best shooter in the league with a 50.94 percent shooting clip.
The Fighting Maroons’ opponent in the finals will be determined later today when Adamson takes on Ateneo, which has a twice-to-beat advantage.