Figueroa lets UAAP 82 MVP award do talking for him

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 12, 2020 07:25 PM
Figueroa lets UAAP 82 MVP award do talking for him
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

Jake Figueroa was a shock to just about everybody as the MVP of the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament.

The rookie recruit from San Fernando, Pampanga was an unknown to start the season before busting out for averages of 13.2 points, 14.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks.

With that, he was the runaway MVP - a recognition he himself didn’t see coming. “‘Di ko po talaga inasahan kasi rookie lang ako,” he said, not even a week since his win was announced.

Indeed, nobody had the 6-foot-2 forward emerging as the top individual player with the likes of Nazareth School of National University twin towers Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao as well as Ateneo de Manila High School primetime playmaker Forthsky Padrigao still here.

And on the court, he’s also not one to grab attention as he is far from expressive with his emotions. “Etong batang ‘to, ‘di talaga ‘to nagsasalita e. Mahiyain pa e,” head coach Mike Fermin shared.

He then continued, “Ako pa nga kailangan magsabing bigyan siya ng bola.”

Still, Figueroa made noise because he let his game do the talking. “‘Di po talaga ako humihingi ng bola. Kung ano lang pong kailangan ng team,” he said.

Still, with just energy and effort, he is the first Baby Falcon to win MVP since Mark Juruena.

And for that, he is nothing but thankful to the school that took a chance on him. “Binalik ko lang po lahat ng tiwala ng Adamson sa akin,” he said.

After all, as it turns out, more than a few teams from both the UAAP and the NCAA had the chance to get the 17-year-old breakout star, but opted otherwise.

And so, Figueroa found a home in Adamson - and not only that, he helped renovate that home into something that can compete with the best of them.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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