IT has been 21 long years since the NCAA last saw a local win back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards.
And for the last player to achieve that feat, it's high time that the league sees another this NCAA Season 94.
Rommel Adducul believes that Lyceum Pirates main man CJ Perez has what it takes to win the MVP plum in successive seasons just for his sheer effort in leading the Pirates to the Final Four.
"Every time I step out on the court, binibigay ko lang yung effort ko. Ganoon din yung nakikita ko kay CJ kaya siya deserving mag-back-to-back MVP," he said.
Adducul won the MVP title in 1996 and 1997, leading San Sebastian to the championship in Seasons 72 and 73, part of the Golden Stags' dominant run of five championships in the 1990s.
He is one of the most revered collegiate standouts of that era, and Adducul couldn't help but see a little of himself in Perez with the way the latter is playing for Lyceum.
"Nung naglalaro ako, effort lang ang parati kong binibigay. Nakikita ko sa kanya na kahit sa practice, di mo siya nakikita na mag-relax. Kahit sa practice, 100-percent effort pa rin siya," said Adducul, who also serves as an assistant coach with the Pirates under coach Topex Robinson.
"He's an unselfish player. I always remind him to be a leader and nakikita naman natin sa kanya yun," he said. "Pag nakikita niya na may libre, fini-feed niya ang teammates niya. Nakikinig siya sa amin at nabibigyan niya ng opportunity yung teammates niya na maka-score."
The numbers validate Adducul's arguments, with Perez averaging a league-best 18.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season.
If Perez does indeed win the MVP again, he will join an illustrious club which includes legends Moro Lorenzo of Ateneo, Carlos Loyzaga of San Beda, Alvin Partimonio of Mapua, Eugene Quilban and Adducul of San Sebastian.
The only foreign player to achieve the feat was Cardinals big man Allwell Oraeme back in Seasons 91 and 92, while Red Lion center Sam Ekwe was a two-time NCAA MVP, though won it in 2006 and 2008.
That's why for Adducul, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Perez is bound for bigger things ahead and this is just the start for the 24-year-old forward.
"Malayo ang mararating niya. As long as ibigay pa rin niya yung 100-percent effort niya, madadala niya yan sa PBA," he said.