MANILA – University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ Soulemane Chabi Yo and Negrense Mark Nonoy are favored to clinch the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year award, respectively, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s seniors basketball.
Chabi Yo, a transferee from Colegio de San Lorenzo, submitted impressive numbers despite being the smallest among foreign players with his averages of 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.
The La Carlota, Negros Occidental native Nonoy, on the other hand, was a standout among league newcomers norming 10 points, 3.8 boards, and 2.3 dimes after 14 matches.
If ever, this will be the third time UST players would sweep the top UAAP individual awards after Dylan Ababou and Jeric Teng were named MVP-ROY in 2009 and Chris Cantonjos and Gerard Francisco in 1995.
Tigers head coach Aldin Ayo said the impending individual awards of Chabi Yo and Nonoy were a welcome sight to the program he was building for UST basketball team since last year.
“It would be big for the program,” Ayo said in an interview with Spin.ph. “Us having players winning those awards show that we’re able to develop and get the best out of the players that we have.”
The Growling Tigers is set to face Far Eastern University Tamaraws in a knockout game this afternoon as part of the first phase of the step ladder semifinals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City./PN