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REIGNING MVP Ange Kouame of Ateneo paces the league in rebounds and blocks while La Salle gunner Schonny Winston is the No. 1 scorer so far after an intriguing first round in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player averaged 11.43 rebounds and 2.57 blocks in seven matches as the Blue Eagles (5-2) recovered from a shaky start to stay on track for a redemption bid at second spot entering the crucial second round.
Schonny Winston, who’s also on top in minutes played (32.20) and second in steals (3.0), has been one of the few consistent forces in the Green Archers’ bumpy start so far at 3-4, with 21.29 points also in seven games.
Santo Tomas’ Nic Cabañero (17.71), Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa (16.71), Carl Tamayo (14.86) of reigning champion University of the Philippines and Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso (14.29) joined Winston in the league’s scoring ladder.
Inside the paint, La Salle slotman Mike Phillips is holding his own against Kouame at second spot in both rebounding and blocking with averages of 10.5 and 2.17, respectively.
Ateneo’s Kai Ballungay (62.75%) leads the UAAP in field goal percentage as UP’s Zavier Lucero rises as the best sharpshooter at 47.62 percent clip from downtown. University of the East’s Luis Villegas made the most number of treys at 17.
JD Cagulangan (4.0) headlines the steal department though in only one game so far while Evan Nelle is the No. 1 dimer at 7.8 assists per game. Ateneo floor general Forthsky Padrigao leads in efficiency with a total of +96 in seven games.
The UAAP will take a short break this Wednesday before opening the second round this weekend with UP still on top at 6-1.
Ateneo and NU, with identical 5-2 cards, are just within striking distance followed by Adamson (3-4), UE (3-4) and La Salle (3-4) at joint No. 4, Far Eastern U (2-5) and cellar dweller Santo Tomas (1-6). — John Bryan Ulanday