NCAA: Letran’s Abando named rookie-MVP; Arellano’s Arana top defender


Posted at May 22 2022 02:51 PM | Updated as of Jun 02 2022 07:08 AM

NCAA: Letran’s Abando named rookie-MVP 1
NCAA: Letran’s Abando named rookie-MVP 2
NCAA: Letran’s Abando named rookie-MVP 3

Will Gozum (from left) of College of Saint Benilde, Justin Arana (Arellano), Rhenz Abando (Letran), Jeo Ambohot (Letran), and JM Calma (San Sebastian) are named to the NCAA 97 Mythical 5. Mix Gatpandan

Rhenz Abando of Colegio de San Juan de Letran is announced as rookie-MVP winner of NCAA 97. Mix Gatpandan

Justin Arana of Arellano University accepts the trophy for winning defensive player of NCAA 97. Mix Gatpandan

Rhenz Abando was announced on Sunday as the NCAA 97 men's basketball MVP and rookie of the year.

The Letran Knights forward has been at the forefront of his team's unbeaten season, as they look to secure the championship later on the same day.

Abando, who exited the third quarter of Game 1 with an ankle injury, said he was ready to go for Game 2.

He averaged 15.73 points, 6.36 rebounds, 1.73 assists, and 1.27 blocks while coming off the bench in his first season for the Intramuros school after a much-publicized transfer from the University of Santo Tomas.

He is the first player to take home the rookie-MVP double since Mapua University's Allwell Oraeme in 2015, and the first Letran player to win MVP since Raymond Almazan in 2013.

Here is the list of winners:

Rhenz Abando, Letran

Mythical 5
Justin Arana, Arellano
Rhenz Abando, Letran
Jeo Ambohot, Letran
Will Gozum, CSB’
JM Calma, SSC

Defensive Player of the Year
Justin Arana, Arellano

All-Defensive Team
Nat Cosejo, EAC
Omar Larupay, Lyceum
Justin Arana, Arellano
Will Gozum, CSB
Jeo Ambohot, Letran
JM Calma, SSC

Most Improved Player
Paolo Hernandez, Mapua

Rookie of the year
Rhenz Abando, Letran