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Valdez steers semis-bound Pirates, cops NCAA Player of the Week honors

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Valdez steers semis-bound Pirates, cops NCAA Player of the Week honors
Enoch Valdez of Lyceum
NCAA / GMA

MANILA, Philippines – The past week has been action-filled for the NCAA Season 98 as two teams officially clinched a spot in the Final Four: Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

After the defending champions Knights booked their playoff berth with a win against a gutsy Emilio Aguinaldo College squad, Lyceum made sure to take down fellow contenders San Beda University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos for the second semifinals ticket.

One player who played a pivotal role in both games was Enoch Valdez.

In the Pirates' pulsating 81-80 win against the Red Lions, the 6-foot-2 guard  tallied eight points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal as they completed an elimination round sweep of the Mendiola-based crew. 

But it was in the Pirates' hard-fought 73-65 victory against the Stags that Valdez stepped up as he posted a career-high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds and three steals to help Lyceum catch the Final Four bus. 

With his notable performance in the Final Four-clinching match, Valdez got the nod to be the Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week decided and deliberated upon by print and online media regularly covering the league and presented by San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Sports Commission as well as minor sponsors MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey.

Valdez bested other noteworthy performances from the week such as the career-high 36-point performance of San Sebastian's Rhinwil Yambing, Perpetual sophomore John Abis' triple-double performance, and consistent numbers from fellow Pirate Renzo Navarro, Letran's King Caralipio, and San Beda's James Kwekuteye. 

For Valdez, the goal remains clear: another Finals appearance for the LPU Pirates.

"Nasa isip ko talaga ay gusto ko talagang pumasok sa Final Four and 'yung goal ko ay makabalik sa Finals kasi dati nung nasa Finals kami nila Kuya CJ (Perez) hindi ako nagagamit eh," he shared.

"'Di ako masyadong nagagamit no'n so parang ang goal ko ngayon is makapasok sana kami sa Finals na gamit ako sa loob, na kasama ako sa rotation."

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