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    Head and shoulders above the rest, Kai Sotto bags UAAP Jrs MVP title

    Feb 11, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    KAI Sotto was a man among boys as he took home the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball Most Valuable Player award.

    The former league top rookie has assumed the role of main man for Ateneo, leading the Blue Eaglets to the No. 2 seeding in the semifinals.

    The 7-foot-1 center stamped his class among the competition as he amassed 97.0 statistical points after averaging 25.1 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks for the season.

    But as much as the award was a validation to the 16-year-old's efforts, he maintained that his focus remains on Ateneo's goal of winning back-to-back titles this year.

    "Ang naiisip ko lang, wala na akong kailangang patunayan pa. Kung ano man ang kalabasan ng ginagawa ko, happy lang ako para sa akin at para sa team ko. Hindi naman yun mangyayari lahat kung hindi dahil sa coach ko na tinutulungan ako, at mga teammates ko rin na sumusunod kay coach," he said.

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    "Ang focus ko lang dito is i-defend yung crown namin dahil nag-champion kami last season. Pero ang main goal ko at ng team ko is mag-champion ulit. Doon lang ako magfo-focus."

    Sotto adds the MVP trophy to the Rookie of the Year award he won in Season 79, as well as making the Mythical Team in the past two seasons.

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    UST's dynamic guard Mark Nonoy also earned a spot in the Mythical Five with 81.9286 SPs from averages of 21.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists.

    Completing the Mythical Team are Ateneo floor general Forthsky Padrigao who collected 64.6250 SPs, FEU-Diliman sniper RJ Abarrientos who netted 61.6429 SPs, and Adamson main man Joem Sabandal who got 60.9286 SPs.

    NU court general Gerry Abadiano narrowly missed the list as he placed sixth with his 60.2857 SPs.

    Rounding out the top 10 are UST center Bismarck Lina (59.3571 SPs), NU bruiser Carl Tamayo (58.3636 SPs), FEU guard Royce Alforque (56.2143 SPs), and Adamson slotman AP Manlapaz (54.3000 SPs).

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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