Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo is named Most Valuable Player. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo star guard Kiefer Ravena was formally named the Most Valuable Player of the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament on Wednesday after topping the statistical points race at the end of the double-elimination round.
Ravena, fired up by a subpar campaign in Season 76, dominated Season 77 and averaged a league-leading 21.2 points to go along with 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
He also led Ateneo to an 11-3 record at the end of the elimination round and the top-seed in the Final Four, and finished with 77.64 statistical points.
"From what happened in Season 76, sobrang frustrated ko talaga," said Ravena, who got injured shortly before the start of last year's tournament, missed some games, and never really regained his explosive form.
"Ang na-improve ko rin talaga, na natutunan ko from Coach Joe Abunassar (of Impact Basketball) is, you can do a lot of things when you're in shape. I feel lighter, faster, quicker, and stronger," he added. "'Yun 'yung big advantage for me this year."
Now fully healthy and in the best shape of his college career, Ravena was the runaway winner of the MVP trophy, with De La Salle University forward Jeron Teng coming in a far second with 68.21 SPs despite several impressive performances in the second round of the tournament.
Teng averaged 16.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game this season for the defending champion Green Archers.
The Men's Mythical Five. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
Ravena and Teng are joined in the Mythical Five by Far Eastern University (FEU) forward Mac Belo, Ateneo forward Chris Newsome, and University of Santo Tomas (UST) center Karim Abdul.
Belo turned in a highly efficient year for the Tamaraws, averaging 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and was the league-leader in terms of player efficiency.
Newsome, meanwhile, averaged 13.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game for Ateneo, and Abdul normed 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game for the Growling Tigers.
Meanwhile, Ateneo rookie Arvin Tolentino will receive the Rookie of the Year trophy after leading all true freshmen with 40.21 SPs.
Rookie of the Year, Arvin Tolentino of Ateneo. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
Tolentino had a blistering start to his UAAP career before tapering off in the second round, but still built a large enough lead that his closest rival, La Salle's Paolo Rivero, could not overhaul.
"Hindi talaga 'yun 'yung target ko," Tolentino, a standout from San Beda High School, said of the Rookie of the Year plum. "Pero at least may bonus din ako, tatanggapin ko pa rin."
Ravena and Teng also received the Fast Fizz Players of the Season award from Biogesic. Ravena was also named the Jollibee Champ of the Season, the Master Gameface Player of the Season, the RCBC Savings Bank Life Changing Player of the Season, and PS Bankable Player of the Season.
The Most Improved Player, Troy Rosario of National University. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
Meanwhile, National University's (NU) Troy Rosario won the Appeton Weight Gain Most Improved Player of the Season, and UST's Abdul and University of the East's Charles Mammie shared the KFC Double-Double Delivery of the Season after tallying six double-double performances each in the tournament.
In the women's division, NU's Afril Bernardino won the MVP award after leading the Lady Bulldogs to a sweep of the elimination rounds.
The Women's MVP Afril Bernardino of NU. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
She was joined in the Mythical Five by UST's Lore Rivera, NU teammates Gemma Miranda and Shelley Gupilan, and Ateneo's Danica Jose.