Dela Cruz reclaims top spot in this week’s #IlabasAngGaling Five

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 02, 2015 09:23 PM
Dela Cruz reclaims top spot in week’s #IlabasAngGaling Five
Our #IlabasAngGaling Five for the week come from San Beda, Mapua, Perpetual, and JRU.

Here are the top five players who did nothing but #IlabasAngGaling during the second week of NCAA Season 91:

#1: Art Dela Cruz in San Beda’s 83-81 win against Perpetual (Last week: #3)

Just like the five-peat champions, Dela Cruz is putting up a strong campaign without grabbing any headlines. Let us all remember that the Red Lions are a scary second-place squad after winning for the fifth time in six games. During that game, their team captain posted 25 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists – gaudy numbers that have become the norm for the fourth-year forward. Somehow it just feels like the Legarda-based squad is simply waiting for the right time to pounce and there is no doubt that Dela Cruz will be the one leading that attack.

#2: Allwell Oraeme in Mapua’s 109-95 win against Lyceum (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

The Nigerian reinforcement entered the league with a reputation as a defensive force, but his start to the season has proven that he is to be reckoned with on offense as well. With his post moves still needing some polishing, it has been through his tireless effort that Oraeme has been getting his points. The best example of which was the Cardinals’ win the last time around when he pounded in a monster 26-point, 20-rebound double-double to go along with five blocks – proving to be the difference-maker when none of his team’s guards were able to make a play.

#3: Bright Akhuetie in Perpetual’s 83-81 loss to San Beda (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

Akhuetie was supposed to be the Altas’ answer to San Beda’s Ola Adeogun and he got his first chance to prove it in their most recent outing. The Nigerian more than lived up to the hype by totaling 25 points, 16 rebounds, and six steals to outplay Adeogun who had 11 points and 13 rebounds to his name. The Las Pinas-based team may have come out on the losing end, but they can rest easy knowing that after three straight Final Four exits at the hands of the Red Lions, they may just finally have the answer in Akhuetie.

#4: Josan Nimes in Mapua’s 109-95 win against Lyceum (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

The Cardinals own the most explosive offense in the league – yes, even better than San Beda’s fast-paced attack – and their team captain is the main reason why. Serving as a James Harden-esque facilitator, Nimes has turned this season’s hosts into a legitimate contender after back-to-back years at the bottom. Working with Oraeme in their previous game, Nimes’ 24 points, six assists, and six rebounds allowed Mapua to earn their first winning streak of the season.

#5: Teytey Teodoro in JRU’s 67-49 win against CSB (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

Let us repeat what we said last week: the real Teytey Teodoro has finally stood up. Proving that his 25-point outburst was no fluke, the second-year guard posted 21 points together with eight rebounds and three steals in the Heavy Bombers’ third win in a row. Called by head coach Vergel Meneses as his “go-to guy,” we can only expect the Heavy Bombers to rise to as high as Teodoro takes them.

ON THE CUSP:

Scottie Thompson, Perpetual (Last week: #1)

That’s now back-to-back losses for the title hopefuls from Las Pinas and it’s no coincidence that their team leader turned in his least efficient performance during those games. Still, the fact that final numbers of 20 points, five assists, and four rebounds is his worst outing speaks volumes about what we expect from the reigning MVP.

Jiovani Jalalon, Arellano (Last week: #2)

First things first, it has been proven that the league leaders’ “magulo basketball” can make anyone look bad. With that in mind, Jalalon still tallied a solid stat line of 10 points, five assists, and seven rebounds in the face of the Letran rampage.

Rey Nambatac, Letran (Last week: #5)

Kevin Racal was the star in their sixth consecutive victory in the same number of games, but it has been the third-year recruit from Cagayan de Oro who has been the Knights’ constant along with their non-stop full-court pressure. Nambatac’s final numbers in his last game weren’t so bad either as he ended with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.

BOUNCE BACKS NEEDED:

Mark Cruz, Letran (Last week: #4)

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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