EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 92 Jrs. Players to Watch
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 15, 2016 08:45 PM
THE FUTURE IS NOW. After the first round, graduating guard Guilmer Dela Torre has put himself at the forefront of the MVP discussion.
The first round of the NCAA 92 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with.
And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players:
GUILMER DELA TORRE – Arellano High School
(blue jersey #7)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 41.3 percent shooting, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals
Bar none, Guilmer Dela Torre is to NCAA Juniors what Season MVP Aljun Melecio was to last season’s UAAP Juniors. Capable of scoring in any and every imaginable way, he has spearheaded Arellano’s league-best offensive attack. While he still has much to improve at the defensive end to become a complete player, his offensive dynamism alone is more than enough to propel him to the forefront of the MVP discussion.
TROY MALLILLIN – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills
(white jersey with ball)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 21.8 points, 49.7 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Surprisingly the league’s leading scorer, Troy Mallillin has kept CSB-LSGH in contention even though there no longer is any Rivero on the roster. With a wide frame and good length, he is the prototypical modern do-it-all forward. Expect him to continue doing it all for the Junior Blazers who could boast to be the first and only team to down league-leading Arellano.
SAM ABU HIJLEH – San Beda High School
(red jersey #16)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 53.5 percent shooting, 10.2 rebounds
The foundation in their hunt for a historic eight-peat, Sam Abu Hijleg has fueled San Beda all the way to the top of the standings. Being a threat for a double-double once he takes the floor, the defending champions have a good chance of remaining to be so as long as their team captain chugging along. He does need to show more shooting though, especially if he is to effectively move up into the Seniors.
MIKE ENRIQUEZ – Malayan High School
(third from left in yellow shirt)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: N/A
Reigning MVP Mike Enriquez was a no-show for all but one game in the first round – and in that one game he played in, he only saw four minutes of action. That is all set to change with Malayan’s “Mr. Everything” all set to do, well, everything now he’s back in full health. Another MVP is out of the question, but continued contention is very much in the offing for him and his team.
ROMUEL JUNSAY – Malayan High School
(red jersey #7)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.4 points, 46.8 percent shooting, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 steals
With Mike Enriquez sidelined, it has been Romuel Junsay’s star that has shone bright for the Red Robins who find themselves among the top three teams. Seemingly getting to where the ball is almost effortlessly, the diminutive guard has continued his school’s time-honored tradition of producing talented guards. It will be nothing but interesting to see how he sustains his strong play with Enriquez back in the fold.
JOSH TAGALA – San Beda High School
(white jersey with ball)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.0 points, 47.3 percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.3 steals
In a San Beda squad made up of pretty good players, one among them does everything, well, pretty good. Josh Tagala doesn’t do anything exceptionally well, but that’s because he doesn’t have to because of their enviable depth. What he does, rather, is do all that is necessary to keep the defending champions’ gears rolling along – and that, he does exceptionally well.
LARS SUNGA – Arellano High School
(silver jersey #4)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.2 points, 47.3 percent shooting, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists
CSB-LSGH has Troy Mallillin. Malayan has Mike Enriquez. San Beda has Josh Tagala. Arellano definitely isn’t going to get left behind with Lars Sunga. The dirty worker to Guilmer Dela Torre’s flashy performer, the versatile forward is often found all over the court, trying to make things happen for the pace-setting Braves.
MAKKI SANTOS – Lyceum of the Philippines University
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.5 points, 65.3 percent shooting, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Makki Santos has been the one steering the wheel on why the Junior Pirates are surging towards respectability for the first time in the short history of their program. The most well-rounded player in a no-name crew, he has given LPU an identity as a team that thrives on team effort.
JIELO RAZON – University of Perpetual Help
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.1 points, 43.4 percent shooting, 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.3 steals
Perpetual is off to its best start in its Juniors history and Jielo Razon has been the major reason why. Stuffing the stat sheet from points to rebounds and from assists to steals, the lanky forward, along with Errol Bongay, has been more than enough to keep the undersized and talent-lacking Junior Altas in the mix.
AARON FERMIN – Arellano High School
(blue jersey #18)
ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.4 points, 46.9 percent shooting, 11.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks
Look out, look out, the Braves have another gem of a find in their hands in Aaron Fermin. The league’s leading rebounder and blocker, all while coming off the bench, the athletic center has provided the paint presence that allows the likes of Guilmer Dela Torre, Lars Sunga, and Carlo Abadeza to run roughshod from the perimeter on both ends.
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