NU Bullpups big boy Mark Dyke attracts attention from scouts, but insists focus is on title quest
Mark Dyke and the NU Bullpups need a win against either Adamson or De La Salle-Zobel to set up a title showdown with thrice-to-beat Ateneo. Reuben Terrado

MARK Dyke hopes to win one more UAAP juniors title for National University before going to college.

The rising star from Mexico, Pampanga was named to the Mythical Five for the second straight time after his stellar play with the Bullpups this season, but the 6-foot-3 cager said he would rather win a title than an individual award.

“Hindi ko rin in-expect na manalo dahil marami namang magagaling sa ibang team. Thank you rin sa award. Pero gusto ko po ng championship kasi individual lang naman ’yun,” said Dyke, born to a Nigerian father and a Filipina mother.

Dyke was spotted by scouts in 2012 and readily made quite an impact in his first season with the NU Bullpups, becoming the only non-fourth-year player to make the Mythical Five that included NU teammates Hubert Cani and JP Cauilan, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo, and Reinier Quinga of Adamson.

[See Mark Dyke has 23 and 26 as Bullpups rip Baby Falcons to secure No. 2 seeding in stepladder playoffs]

College teams are already watching the progress of Dyke, who finished second to Mike Nieto of Ateneo in the MVP race this season. But the 17-year-old said he is more focused on NU's quest for a juniors title repeat than where he will play in college.

“Kung ’yung team ang mag-champion, mas maganda ang kalalabasan,” said Dyke, who also played for Batang Gilas in the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship last year under head coach Jamike Jarin.

This season, Dyke averaged a team-best 13.4 points and 14.5 rebounds per game for the Bullpups. But after winning 22 straight games dating back to their title conquest in Season 76, NU has struggled and won only three of their seven games in the second round.

Dyke, however, said the team remains confident about their title chances especially after beating Adamson, 72-45, on Tuesday in a playoff for the number two spot in the stepladder playoffs.

He said they entered the game with a no-tomorrow attitude, a big reason why he had a 23-point, 26-rebound output against the Baby Falcons.

[See Ateneo Blue Eaglets seal outright finals berth after sweep of UAAP elims]

“Nag-usap kaming lahat sa team kahapon na ’yung game ngayon, kung matalo kami, kahit mayroon pang susunod na game, para sa amin, wala na po kaming chance sa championship. Kaya binigay naming ’yung best namin. Nag-adjust po kami at nasa isang page uli kami,” Dyke said.

Dyke said they are putting their struggles in the second round behind them with NU holding a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder against the winner of the Adamson-De La Salle-Zobel game on Thursday.


“Siguro po naging kampante kami dahil siyempre muntik na po naming ma-sweep ’yung first round. Hindi kami naging hungry. Naging kampante kami,” said Dyke.

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