Laminou enters, Dela Cruz still tops this week’s #IlabasAngGaling Five

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 09, 2015 09:23 PM
Laminou barges into this week’s #IlabasAngGaling Five
Our #IlabasAngGaling Five for the week come from San Beda, Perpetual, Mapua, and EAC.

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

#1: Art Dela Cruz in San Beda’s 88-69 win against JRU (Last week: #1)

For the first time in the season, the Player of the Week race came down the wire with Jorem Morada seizing the honor on the back of EAC’s incredible upset of Letran. Coming in a close second was the Red Lion team captain who had a strong case of his own by posting 29 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and four steals against the league’s best defense. While Dela Cruz is yet to be named Player of the Week, the fact that he is the lone player to be in contention for the award week in and week out speaks of his consistently strong effort throughout the season – something that we should all hold in high regard.

#2: Bright Akhuetie in Perpetual’s 76-66 win against Arellano (Last week: #3)

After outplaying the longtime standout import in Ola Adeogun, the Altas’ big man then trained his sights upon the reigning Rookie of the Year in Dioncee Holts. The Nigerian bettered his effort a week ago with 31 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals to put an end to the Altas’ two-game losing skid. If he continues putting up numbers like that, Akhuetie may well be on his way to taking Holts’ place.

#3: Allwell Oraeme in Mapua’s 76-64 win against CSB (Last week: #2)

The Cardinals entered their most recent contest already with a disadvantage because head coach Atoy Co was serving a one-game suspension. The season hosts’ handicap got bigger when court general CJ Isit and star player Josan Nimes left the game due to separate injuries. Still, Mapua came out on top and it was all thanks to their Nigerian reinforcement who lifted them up with a near triple-double of 19 points, 20 rebounds, and eight blocks. Akhuetie may be the frontrunner for the top first-year player plum, but he better watch his back with the way his countryman is working.

#4: Hamadou Laminou in EAC’s 83-69 win against Letran (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

Without blue-chip recruits and coming off a last-place campaign, no one paid the Generals any mind heading into the season. People are sure talking about the boys from UN Avenue now after they claimed back-to-back wins – the latter of which was an incredible upset of erstwhile unbeaten Letran. Player of the Week Morada may have been the one to hit the huge shots in the decisive final frame, but it was their Cameroonian import who proved to be the difference all throughout for EAC. Laminou toyed with the Knights’ undersized frontline and collected 20 points, 24 rebounds (13 offensive), and four blocks – basically daring anyone to ever forget about him and his Generals once again.

#5: Scottie Thompson in Perpetual’s 76-66 win against Arellano (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

In the showdown between the league’s best playmakers, Thompson only produced seven points, six rebounds, and no assists in the initial two quarters to see his team fall behind. Then the second half started and the reigning MVP added four points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists to propel his team to a much-needed victory that broke a two-game losing skid. Let us repeat that: the Perpetual star had 10 rebounds and seven assists in only 20 minutes of action – completely taking over the game without any need to score.

ON THE CUSP:

Michael Calisaan, San Sebastian (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

Entering the season, Calisaan always seemed to be like the Golden Stags’ budding star. In the first seven games, he seemed to be happy to defer to seniors Jamil Ortuoste and Bradwyn Guinto. That all changed in their most recent outing when the second-year forward scored a career-high 35 to go along with 16 rebounds – essentially telling Ortuoste that he need not play hero ball anymore.

Kevin Racal, Letran (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

The biggest story of the week is undoubtedly undefeated Letran’s first loss at the hands of once bottom-feeding EAC. However, that shouldn’t take away the fact that Racal has finally rediscovered his form in averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and two blocks through two games. The Knights’ perfect record may have been lost, but the good news is that the real “K-Racs” has been found.

Jonathan Grey, CSB (Last week: NOT IN TOP FIVE)

The Blazers have disappointed thus far following their almost finish a year ago. However, no one could possibly pin any blame on their fifth-year star player. Grey’s 14-point, five-rebound performance in his past game was pretty pedestrian, but that still followed an amazing stat line of 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks last Tuesday.

BOUNCE BACKS NEEDED:

Josan Nimes, Mapua (Last week: #4)

Teytey Teodoro, JRU (Last week: #5)

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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