By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Superstar power forward Kevin Quiambao of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers is set to become the UAAP’s first local Most Valuable Player (MVP) since 2015.
The six-foot-four big man is already poised to win the coveted award after leading all MVP candidates in statistical points with a total of 97.0 SP.
Before the Green Archers kick off their championship series with the UP Fighting Maroons, Quiambao finished the preliminaries with an average of 16.71 points, 10.86 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.93 steals per game.
UAAP’s last local MVP was Kiefer Ravena of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles during the 2015 season. However, the next six titles were already awarded to several foreign student-athletes from 2016-2022.
Ben Mbala won back-to-back MVPs from 2016-2017 and was followed by UP Fighting Maroons’ Bright Akhuetie during the 2018 season.
UST’s Soulemane Chabi Yo grabbed the award the year after Akhuetie while the next two MVP trophies were awarded to ADMU’s Ange Kouame and UP’s Malick Diouf.
After an efficient performance in the first two elimination rounds of the UAAP Season 86, Quiambao quickly became the clear favorite to raise the MVP trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Quiambao jumped ahead of MVP runner-up Rey Remogat of the UE Red Warriors after the flashy guard accumulated a total of 85.929 SPs.
Other players who made it into the MVP mix were Quiambao’s teammate Evan Nelle, FEU’s L-Jay Gonzales, and UP’s Diouf.