Malick Diouf officially crowned UAAP MVP, Kevin Quiambao Rookie of Year
MANILA, Philippines — Malick Diouf was crowned as the MVP of UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament moments before University of the Philippines tries to complete a sweep against Ateneo on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Senegalese center raised his Season 85 MVP trophy as he became the first Fighting Maroon to win the top individual honor after Bright Akhuetie earned it in Season 81 last 2018.
Diouf topped the race with a total of 73.857 statistical points (SPs), beating front-runner Forthsky Padrigao of Ateneo, who had 71.571 SPs.
“I just want to say thank you for this blessing. I thank my teammates for helping me get this individual award. But the job is not yet done. We just hope in two or three hours we will celebrate in our school,” said Diouf during his MVP speech.
The 6-foot-11 big man averaged 10.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 steals in the 14-game elimination round to become the fifth consecutive foreign student-athlete to win the MVP, joining La Salle’s Ben Mbala, who won back-to-back in 2016 and 2017, Akhuetie, University of Santo Tomas’ Soulmane Chabi Yo in 2019, and Ateneo star Ange Kouame last season.
It was Diouf’s second MVP award after being named as Finals MVP in UP’s historic championship run in Season 84 last May.
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Diouf and Padrigao headlined the mythical team with University of the East forward Luis Villegas, who tallied 69.857 SPs, Ateneo star Dave Ildefonso garnering 64.929 SPs, and UP’s Carl Tamayo having 63.429 SPs.
Kouame was the third in the race but he didn’t make it to the mythical team as only one foreign student-athlete is eligible for the award, while La Salle guard Evan Nelle was fifth but became ineligible for the award due to a one-game suspension.
Diouf tries to complete a historic night as UP seeks to sweep Ateneo for its second consecutive title in one year.
Meanwhile, La Salle freshman Kevin Quiambao was the Rookie of the Year with 56.615 SPs, averaging 11.23 points, 6.54 rebounds, 3.23 assists, and 1.08 steals in the elimination round.
Quiambao became the first Green Archer to win the top rookie honor since Aljun Melecio in Season 79.
Tamayo also received a special award as Swag player of the season that came with Php 30, 000, while Adamson star Jerom Lastimosa won the Bankable player of the season with Php 50,000.