UP's Malick Diouf set to win UAAP MVP; Tigress Soriano runs away with women's plum

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
UP's Malick Diouf set to win UAAP MVP; Tigress Soriano runs away with women's plum
UP's Malick Diouf

MANILA, Philippines — UP's Malick Diouf is expected to win Most Valuable Player (MVP) in UAAP Season 85 after he topped the rest of the league in statistical points (SPs) after the elimination round wrapped up on Wednesday.

Diouf, a second-year player for the Maroons, edged Ateneo's Forthsky Padrigao, 73.857 to 71.571.

The Senegalese big man normed 10.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 steals for the Fighting Maroons. They finished as the second seed with an 11-3 record.

He becomes the first MVP from the Fighting Maroons since Bright Akhuetie in 2018.

Joining Diouf and Padrigao in the Mythical Team are UE's Luis Villegas (69.857 SPs), Ateneo's Dave Ildefonso (64.929 SPs), and UP's Carl Tamayo (63.429 SPs).

Ildefonso and Tamayo snagged places in the Mythical Team despite being ranked 6th and 7th, respectively, among the players since Ateneo's Ange Kouame and La Salle's Evan Nelle were deemed ineligible due to technicalities.

Only one foreign student-athlete can be included in the Mythical Team thus barring Kouame; while Nelle was suspended for a game, therefore denying him of any individual award for the season.

Erstwhile MVP race leader Schonny Winston fell to just joint-9th in the SPs rankings after a calf injury derailed his bid. He played heavy minutes in only seven games for the Archers.

Winston played a grand total of 22 seconds in the last three games of DLSU to make himself at least eligible for the award but his zeroes across the board dragged his SPs down to 62.1 — tied with DLSU teammate Mike Phillips.

Kevin Quiambao tops the list of rookies at 14th. He had 56.615 SPs after norming 11.23 points, 6.54 rebounds, 3.23 assists, and 1.08 steals.

Soriano dominates in women's tourney

Over in the women's side, UST's Eka Soriano ran away with the MVP plum with a huge advantage over the rest of the competition.

Soriano, whose team engages in a do-or-die affair with La Salle on Sunday for the right to face NU in the finals, averaged 14.36 points, 6.29 rebounds, and league bests 7.14 assists, and 3.71 steals.

Soriano paced UST to an 11-3 record in eliminations and garnered 92.286 SPs.

She gives the Growling Tigresses their third straight MVP after back-to-back MVP seasons from Grace Irebu in Season 81 and 82.

Ateneo rookie Kacey Dela Rosa comes in second and joins Soriano in the Mythical Team with 77 SPs. Her teammate Jhaz Joson also made the cut with 74.714.

Dela Rosa also nets the Rookie of the Year plum by a long mile.

She normed 16.42 points, 14.08 rebounds and 3.08 blocks. The ace rookie is the league's top blocker and rebounder.

Rounding up the Mythical Team in the women's tourney are UST's Tacky Tacatac (73.429) and Adamson's Victoria Adeshina (72.214).

Six-time defending champions NU thus do not have a representative in the Mythical Team. Camille Clarin and Karl Pingol finished 7th and 8th in the SPs race.

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