MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo de Manila University center Ange Kouame holds a slim lead against University of the Philippines (UP) forward Zavier Lucero in the UAAP Most Valuable Player (MVP) race for Season 84.
After eight games, Kouame has 68.0 statistical points, built on averages of 12.13 points, 11.88 rebounds, and 2.38 blocks per game. Also helping his cause is Ateneo's immaculate 8-0 record, which has given Kouame 120 won-game bonus points.
Lucero, meanwhile, has taken the league by storm in his first year for the Fighting Maroons. A transferee from California State University Maritime Academy, he leads UP in scoring at 15.38 points per game, and also contributes 8.25 rebounds, 1.75 assists, 1.75 steals, and 1.0 block per game.
His 67.0 statistical points puts Lucero within striking distance of Kouame.
In distant third is De La Salle University center Justine Baltazar, with 58.0 SPs. In his final season for the Green Archers, Baltazar is averaging 12.38 points and 9.13 rebounds per game so far.
UP rookie Carl Tamayo is in fourth place, with 57.0 SPs. He is putting up 13.13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, and is coming off a 21-point, 10-rebound outing against National University.
Rounding out the top five is Far Eastern University (FEU) big man Emmanuel Ojuola, with 57.0 SPs as well. Ojuola, also playing in his first season, is averaging 11.38 points and 12.63 boards per contest.
The rest of the top 10 are: Ateneo's Dave Ildefonso (53.0 SPs), Adamson University's Jerom Lastimosa (50.0 SPs), FEU's RJ Abarrientos (50.0 SPs), UP's Malick Diouf (50.0 SPs), and FEU's LJay Gonzales (50.0 SPs).
The UAAP has traditionally based its individual awards, including the Rookie of the Year trophy, on player statistics.
Below are more details on the Top 10 of the UAAP MVP race.