ALLWELL Oraeme just wanted to become a defensive force for Mapua in his first year with the team.
In the process, he ended up becoming a celebrated player in Season 91 of the NCAA.
Oraeme won an unprecedented five major awards after capturing the Most Valuable Player plum, Rookie of the Year, Mythical Five, Defensive Player of the Year, and All-Defensive team.
The 19-year-old Oraeme became the first player since countryman Sam Ekwe in 2006 with San Beda to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season.
Gabby Espinas, now with San Miguel, also did the same feat in 2004 playing for Philippine Christian University.
Oraeme said he didn’t expect to win the MVP plum since he was concentrating more on playing defense.
“I was expecting maybe the best defensive player award but not this,” said the Mapua freshman before receiving the trophies during the awarding rites prior to Game One of the NCAA championship series between San Beda and Letran.
Oraeme’s imposing presence turned around Mapua’s season, rising from a cellar-dwelling team to a championship contender as the Cardinals made it all the way to the Final Four before losing to the Letran Knights.
The Mapua big man, who topped the league in rebounds and blocks with averages of 20.28 and 2.94 respectively, was just glad his hard work throughout the season paid off.
“This feels like a dream,” Oraeme stresed. “I didn’t believe that I’m going to win (the MVP). Being the rookie-MVP is a big dream. I worked hard enough to be here. I'm grateful to God.”
Following the outstanding season, Oraeme vowed to work on his game next year especially on the offensive end even though he averaged 16.33 points this season, seventh in the league overall.
“My plan is to improve. Next week I'm going back to the gym. I'm going to try to improve offensively,” said Oraeme.