ANOTHER product from Pampanga could be the next best thing in college basketball in Encho Serrano.
Serrano currently leads the way in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball Most Valuable Player race in only his first year with the Baby Falcons after he made the move from Mapua to Adamson before the year began.
“Kinuha lang po ako ni coach (Goldwin Monteverde),” said Serrano, without revealing much how he ended up with the Baby Falcons.
The Apalit, Pampanga native is fast becoming a gem to the squad since he transferred from Mapua after being part of the pool for a year. The 17-year-old standout is currently the second leading scorer in the league with 19.3 points per game norm including a season-high 25 points, while also averaging 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
With Serrano leading the way, the Baby Falcons swept the first round with a 7-0 win-loss record and with a shot at their first crown since a Charlie Dy-coached squad took Adamson to its sixth straight UAAP juniors crown in 1993.
“Nagpapasalamat ako kay God na binigyan ako ng opportunity na maglaro sa UAAP. Ibibigay ko ang lahat ng kaya ko para sa team ko. Lahat ng tinuturo ni coach, ginagawa ko,” said Serrano, who still has two years left with the Baby Falcons.
Recently, Serrano also copped the finals Most Valuable Player after Adamson defeated Chiang Kai Shek College, 96-85, in the championship game of the 5th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) MEC Networks Cup, while also taking the Mythical Five along with Adamson’s Gerry Austin Abadiano, La Salle Greenhills’ Troy Mallillin, Mapua’s Rom Junsay, and CKSC’s Jonas Tibayan.
Monteverde is impressed with Serrano even though he is still in the stage where he is adjusting to the system.
“Definitely, the kid has heart. Very aggressive siya sa rebounding and very athletic. Sometimes, he is still adjusting to the system. Pero kahit nag-aadjust siya, malaki pa rin nako-contribute niya,” said Monteverde.
The 5-foot-11 Serrano, however, said he is not getting ahead of himself as there is still a long way to go for him and the Baby Falcons as there are still seven games remaining before the elimination round ends in the UAAP.
“Kailangan pa naming trabahuin. Gagawin namin ang makakaya namin,” said Serrano.