Mapua's Allwell Oraeme bags back-to-back NCAA MVP award

MANILA, Philippines – Allwell Oraeme of the Mapua Cardinals bagged his second straight NCAA Most Valuable Player award on Tuesday, October 11, right before Game 2 of the Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 6-foot-9 Nigerian won two MVP plums in as many years in the league. He led the Cardinals to the Final Four this season but got eliminated by Arellano in one game.

Oraeme, who was also named Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, beat the Chiefs' star guard Jiovani Jalalon in the MVP race with averages of 16 points, 20 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game for a total of 65.12 average statistical points.

Jalalon finished with 57.5 average statistical points with 21.1 points, 6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 2.3 steals.

"I'm thankful of this but it would be more of a blessing for me if we could improve next year," the 20-year-old Oraeme said after the awarding ceremony.

Jalalon, who is trying to lead Arellano to its first-ever NCAA title against the vaunted San Beda, was named to the Mythical First Team for the second year in a row together with Oraeme.

Perpetual Help's Bright Akhuetie, San Beda's Donald Tankoua, and Emilio Aguinaldo's Hamadou Laminou rounded out the first 5.

Tankoua was still included in the Mythical Team despite just playing only 11 games after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the second round. He was named this season's Most Improved Player.

Meanwhile, Lyceum's Mike Nzeusseu took home Rookie of the Year honors over Lervin Flores of Arellano.

Over at the juniors' division, Troy Mallillin of La Salle-Greenhills was awarded the MVP plum and joined San Beda's Joshua Tagala and Sam Abu Hijle, as well as Arellano's Aaron Fermin and Guillmer dela Torre in the Mythical Team.

Fermin copped the Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards, as Tagala also claimed the Most Improved Player trophy. – Rappler.com