NU's Parks repeats as MVP, Teng is top rookie
MANILA, Philippines – National University (NU) star Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is the UAAP’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight season, edging University of Sto. Tomas center Karim Abdul in a tightly contested race for the league’s top individual award.
In Season 74, Parks' remarkable individual exploits allowed him to nab the MVP plum over Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter even if the Bulldogs did not make it to the Final Four. In the process, Parks became the first player to win the MVP without leading his team to the UAAP post-season.
It was a different story in Season 75, when Parks not only improved his all-around performance and took a greater responsibility on defense, but also led the Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in the UAAP.
NU won nine games and made it to the Final Four for the first time in 11 games.
Along the way, Parks averaged a league-leading 21.4 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest. He topped the MVP race with 77.2857 statistical points (SPs).
“It will definitely bring school pride, not just for me but for my teammates,” Parks said of the award. “I wouldn’t have won it without them. The assists category was huge this year.”
“I know my father will be proud, the school will be proud, and especially Maan (Panganiban) up there will be proud of me,” he added.
Meanwhile, De La Salle’s sensational rookie Jeron Teng blew away the rest of the field in winning the Rookie of the Year award.
Teng, who once scored over 100 points in a high school game, brought his high-scoring ways to La Salle, as he averaged a team-high 16.6 points to go along with 6.9 rebounds per game. He finished with 66.5714 SPs.
He became the first rookie in a decade to lead his team in scoring. Teng also led the Archers back to the Final Four after a one-year absence.
“I don’t really think about individual awards,” Teng said in an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com. “I just think of entering the Final Four and achieving something for the team... I just play my best every game and help the team win, that’s what I do.”
Teng and Parks had a memorable battle in their first round match-up, with both players scoring 35 points. It was Teng and the Archers who came out on top, however, with an 87-86 victory.
Both Teng and Parks will be part of the UAAP Season 75 Mythical Five.
Also included in the Mythical Five is UST’s Abdul, who finished with 76.2143 SPs and wound up second in the MVP race. Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter made the list for the second straight season with 67.2857 SPs. FEU’s Terrence Romeo, meanwhile, is part of the Mythical Five for the first time after finishing with 66.5714.
Teng becomes the second straight Rookie of the Year winner to make it to the Mythical Five. Curiously, last season’s Rookie of the Year, Kiefer Ravena, finished in eight place after amassing 58.9286 SPs.
The UAAP bases its post-season awards on statistics only, considering a player’s points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and turnovers, while penalizing players for every unsportsmanlike or disqualifying foul. Bonus points are also given for every won game.