NCAA vows changes after imports dominate season awards

Arellano U star playmaker Jiovani Jalalon came up short in the race for the league’s highest individual award but still made it to the Mythical Team for the second straight year in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tourney, becoming the lone Filipino—and backcourt—player in a weird set-up never before seen in league history.

The 5-foot-10 Jalalon amassed a total of Player All-Around Value of 57.50 statistical points, finishing second behind eventual two-time MVP winner Allwell Oraeme of Mapua who garnered a total of 65.12 SPs.

READ: Allwell Oraeme ‘surprised’ to beat Jalalon for second straight NCAA MVP

The 6-foot-9 Oraeme, who also secured the Defensive Player of the Year title for the second straight season, led this year’s Mythical Team that also includes fellow foreign-student athletes, Perpetual Help’s Bright Akhuetie, San Beda’s Donald Tankoua and Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Hamadou Laminou—all of whom serving as centers for their respective teams.

This year’s set-up of Mythical Team seems odd compared to the previous seasons wherein the top players in every positions are duly recognized more often than not—regardless of their accumulated stats at the end of the elimination round.

While he admitted the league has been using the traditional computation system in determining the season’s top performers, NCAA ManComm chairman Jose Mari Lacson of host San Beda added they are now considering on coming up with a “Best Import” award for all foreign student-athletes starting next year.

“By next year, we are going to change it. Ang Mythical Five usually yung best in every position. Then we will have a different award kung sino ang Best Import. This year kasi hindi ko mapapalitan because I said kung ano man lumabas sa stats, ‘yun na ‘yun” he said on Tuesday.

Lacson added the league’s ManComm is bent on making the necessary changes which could be implemented next year.

“If you notice, we have one Filipino lang. Isa lang lumabas, ano magagawa namin. Next year we will make sure na everyone who is the best in each position (will be awarded),” he assured.

Lacson, however, admitted Oraeme and the other league’s imports have certainly dominated this season. I will insist na we stick with the stats. Kasi that has always been a rule. This year, everything came out like that, there’s nothing we can do,” he stressed.

“Hanggang matapos ‘yung mga foreigners, kailangan ng separate award. It’s never happened before na isa lang Filipino. Ano magagawa natin sila ang outstanding?” – By Jerome Lagunzad