[Editor's note: SPIN.ph puts the spotlight on the top Philippine athletes who stood out with stacked stat lines in the past week.]
Kai Sotto [16 points, 12 rebounds, 8 blocks in 2 games] There’s a big reason why Kai Sotto is touted by many as the future of Philippine basketball, and he showed a glimpse of it in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball finals. With teammate SJ Belangel having the more impressive stats for most of the season, the Blue Eaglets towering teen was back in dominant form in the championship series with a historic triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocks to draw first blood last Fr bhj. But despite another solid effort in the paint for Sotto in Game 2 on Tuesday, Ateneo failed to overcome a gritty National University squad. Question is, can Sotto replicate his Game 1 dominance in the winner-take-all match?
JVee Casio [22 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals vs ROS] Casio stepped up big time for an undermanned Alaska squad coming off two straight losses in a crucial match vs ROS last Friday. With a frontcourt missing Gilas Pilipinas players Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz, the Aces point guard came up with his first career triple-double, tying Alaska center Sonny Thoss for a team-high 10 boards in the process.
Tots Carlos [32 points on 27 hits vs UST] University of the Philippines spiker Tots Carlos exploded just in time to end a four-game slide for the Lady Maroons. Carlos dropped a career-high 32 to power UP’s comeback from a set down to finish off University of Santo Tomas. Safe to say, Carlos just refused to lose this time around.
Marck Espejo [30 points on 21 kills, five blocks, four aces vs UP] The Ateneo star came up with another 30-point performance to extend the Blue Eagles win run to five with a four-set victory over UP on Sunday. Espejo also had an all-around performance in adding 11 excellent receptions and seven digs to his tally.
Arwind Santos [17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks in 2 games] Santos may have struggled in the return of June Mar Fajardo from Gilas duty, with an 8-point, 9-rebound performance in a loss to ROS on Wednesday. But last Friday against KIA, the former PBA MVP carried the load for SMB with his all-around brilliance. Santos filled the stat sheet with 27 points on 60% shooting, 12 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal.