James Payosing wins ‘unexpected’ NCAA Finals MVP

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NCAA Finals MVP James Payosing of San Beda Red Lions.

NCAA Finals MVP James Payosing of San Beda Red Lions. –NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—From primarily being known as just a defender, James Payosing proved his worth for San Beda at the most opportune time.

Payosing notched a double-double in the process with 11 points and 14 rebounds in Game 3 of the NCAA Season 99 Finals as the Red Lions trounced Mapua, 76-66, and reclaimed their throne in men’s basketball

His stellar play in the most important part of the season earned him an “unexpected” Finals MVP plum.

“It’s just so unexpected when they called my name because since the start of the season, my role has been to defend and be a defender for the other team’s star player. I didn’t expect to be Finals MVP but it came,” said the swingman at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

“This is my payday because I know the hard work that I give to the team. As long as we win, I’ll do what I can. I told them that.”

In the three-game series against Season 99’s top team, Payosing averaged in 9.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per outing.

This after he only averaged 7.72 points and 6.89 boards after the elimination round where San Beda finished with a 12-6 card.

If there’s anyone not surprised about Payosing’s new hardware, it’s coach Yuri Escueta, who has been a witness to the young gun’s perseverance and hard work throughout the tournament.

“Knowing James, of course, his humility and love for his teammates are always there. I’m sure he didn’t expect that because all he wants to do is to win. Whoever won this, everyone would be happy but I think he’s deserving. He stepped up when some guys were down during cramps,” Escueta said in Filipino.

The coach’s remarks for Payosing certainly didn’t go unnoticed as the latter stated just how huge of a help his mentor was in his journey to the Finals plum.

“Last year, coach Yuri scratched his head with me because when I came to Manila, I really had zero knowledge about basketball. He was so patient with me and he always taught me to do whatever it is he wants me to do.”