Kai Sotto just couldn't let Ateneo down.
Losing back-to-back games to rival NU, the towering slotman made sure that the Blue Eaglets skid would end there, emphatically putting his foot down to lead his side to two straight wins in the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament.
Sotto first put up 30 points and eight rebounds against UE on Wednesday before following it up with a 27-22 statline to get back at FEU-Diliman on Sunday.
And with those performances, the 7-foot-2 big man snared the pole position in the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC UAAP 24 weekly high school rankings, marking his third time to claim the throne.
Sotto bested shifty guard Gerry Abadiano for the honor this week, rising from his last week's spot at no. 4.
Abadiano, though, is not the lone Bullpup in the upper pedestal, with center Carl Tamayo (no. 4) and Terrence Fortea (no. 5) all in the top five as they helped Nazareth School of National University stay at the top of the standings.
Mark Nonoy, who nabbed his third triple-double of the season, claimed the third spot.
Rounding out the top 10 are FEU-Diliman's RJ Abarrientos, Ateneo's Forthsky Padrigao, De La Salle-Zobel's Raven Cortez, Adamson's Joem Sabandal, and UST's Bismarck Lina.
Here are the complete Week 8 rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC UAAP 24:
- Kai Sotto (ADMU) (4)
- Gerry Abadiano (NU) (1)
- Mark Nonoy (UST) (2)
- Carl Tamayo (NU) (8)
- Terrence Fortea (NU) (7)
- RJ Abarrientos (FEU) (3)
- Forthsky Padrigao (ADMU) (18)
- Raven Cortez (DLSZ) (N/A)
- Joem Sabandal (AdU) (11)
- Bismarck Lina (UST) (9)
- Adam Doria (AdU) (17)
- Royce Alforque (FEU) (12)
- Cyril Gonzales (NU) (N/A)
- Xyrus Torres (FEU) (N/A)
- AP Manlapaz (AdU) (13)
- Geo Chiu (ADMU) (16)
- David Diaz (ADMU) (N/A)
- Henrie Subido (DLSZ) (N/A)
- Allen Torres (UPIS) (14)
- Lance Jomalesa (DLSZ) (23)
- Ralph Labao (UPIS) (15)
- Ivan Cudiamat (DLSZ) (N/A)
- Jordi Gomez de Liano (UPIS) (24)
- Mike Flores (FEU) (N/A)
This year, there will be three separate editions of the NBTC 24 – one for the NCAA, one for the UAAP, and one for the CESAFI – to accommodate the Juniors calendar for the whole year.
After all three editions have been completed, a final list composing the top 24 players nationwide will then be chosen to participate in the annual NBTC All-Star Game in March.