MAPUA deputy coach Ed Cordero said Allwell Oraeme’s rebounding prowess is all about will.
The Nigerian import grabbed a season-high 30 rebounds for the second consecutive game to lead the Cardinals to an 81-76 win over the Arellano Chiefs on Friday in Season 91 of the NCAA.
His dominance of the boards came just days after he also had the same rebounding tally in the team’s upset win over erstwhile leader Letran on Tuesday.
And Cordero said Oraeme’s output is a testament to the 6-foot-9 player’s willingness to do his role of rebounding the ball.
“He wants to get it,” Cordero said. “Coaches will always say rebounding is about will. And that’s with a capital W. He really has the will to get the rebounds. It doesn’t matter if he is getting boxed out, doesn’t matter if the ball flies off him. He will just get the rebound.”
Cordero even said Oraemen could have even grabbed more rebounds during the game due to a few missed blockouts.
“He could have had 33 rebounds,” said Cordero, who called the shots for Mapua for the seconds straight time in lieu of suspended coach Atoy Co.
Oraeme said he is also at a loss on why he grabs so many rebounds, but admitted he wanted to play better in the second half against the Chiefs despite already having seven points and 12 rebounds in the opening half but with the Cardinals trailing, 33-43.
“I don’t know. It just happens,” said Oraeme. “But the coaches really believe in me.”
“I was really disappointed with myself in the first and second quarter because I was not really in the groove. This game is very important to us. We came out stronger in the second half,” he added.
With Oraeme a monster off the boards, the Cardinals have won their sixth straight game and has gone up to fourth place in the team standings with a 10-5 record, tying the Chiefs for the last spot in the Final Four.
Cordero explained why Oraeme’s rebounding has been a big part of the team’s success in the second round.
“Without the rebounds, we can’t run. That’s part of our system,” said Cordero.