MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) big man Will Gozum has lived up to expectations so far in the NCAA Season 98 men's basketball tournament.
Gozum put up monster numbers in the opening week, with averages of 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.5 assists as the Blazers won their first two games.
He continued his strong start to the season in Week 2 to get the nod as the Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week presented by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Gozum put up 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in CSB's 81-64 triumph against University of Perpetual Help. He then followed it up with a 23-point, 10-rebound effort in a slim 81-75 loss to defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
Gozum edged the Letran backcourt duo of Fran Yu and Brent Paraiso, San Beda University's James Kwekuteye, and Lyceum of the Philippines University's Mac Guadaña for the award decided upon by print and online scribes regularly covering the league.
However, the fourth-year center still wants to do more for the Blazers, particularly in terms of leadership.
"I'm letting them know na I got their back. I'm trying to let them calm whenever nasa pressure moments kami," said Gozum, a member of last season’s Mythical Team and Best Defensive Team.
"It's a long season pa and bonus na lang 'yung (MVP) for me. I want the bigger chip kasi dun, buong team and community masaya."
The Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week award is backed by minor sponsors MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey.