NCAA: Jade Gentapa bags ‘unexpected’ Finals MVP award for St. Benilde
MANILA, Philippines—Jade Gentapa was hailed the NCAA Season 98 Finals MVP after willing the College of St. Benilde to its second straight championship on Friday.
Gentapa, who was earlier also awarded the 2nd Best Outside Spiker, turned in 13 points to help the Lady Blazers notch their 29th straight victory along with the crown after beating Lyceum, a 25-19, 25-11, 25-20, in Game 2 of the finals.
Gentapa admitted that the Finals MVP award was something she “did not expect.”
“I’m happy of course, because I didn’t expect to get this Finals MVP award,” she said. “Coach Jerry (Yee) always reminded me and us to go back to basics and do our job on the court.”
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Gentapa only scored nine markers in the Finals’ opening game where the Lady Blazers reigned, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19, but her efforts on offense led her to average over 11 markers in the season-ending series.
Yee, on the other hand, commended Gentapa for stepping up even with Gayle Pascual, who took home Best Opposite Spiker, already heating up on her own.
“I commend her. We know the hardships we had in practices and the challenges that are not seen publicly so I thank Jade,” said Yee in Filipino. “We know she can do it and she got the Finals MVP.
Taking home the Finals MVP plum was significant for Gentapa but said it was more of a team effort for the Blazers, who had to make do without their star player Mycah Go.
Go suffered a torn ACL before the start of the season before Benilde could even start its bid for a title repeat.
“All of the players in the league improved so we had a hard time. We had to make adjustments because we didn’t have Mycah Go. We’re happy because we worked hard for what we did today.”