Elite collegiate cagers to receive awards

TWO Most Valuable Players, a three-time champion, a national team member and an energetic big man will comprise this season’s Collegiate Mythical Five as the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps hold its annual Collegiate Basketball Awards on Jan. 17 at the Topaz 1 of the Gateway Suites in Cubao, Quezon City .

Selected by a group of scribes covering both leagues, this year’s elite cast are Far Eastern University bet RR Garcia, San Beda’s Sudan Daniel, Ateneo’s Kirk Long, FEU’s Aldrech Ramos and San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva.

The five will join Ateneo’s Norman Black (UAAP Coach of the Year) and San Beda’s Frankie Lim (NCAA Coach of the Year) and Ateneo’s Ryan Buenafe and San Beda’s Garvo Lanete (Pivotal Player Awards) in the list of winners of this event presented by Smart.

This annual awards night, also supported by ACCEL, 316, FilOil, Terrilicious, Gatorade, San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Sportswriters Association will start at 7 p.m.

Despite FEU’s failed title bid, Garcia rose from a mere backup guard to full blown star, averaging a league-leading 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals to win the UAAP MVP award. He was the first guard to bag the said plum since FEU alumnus and PBA legend Johnny Abarrientos did the trick in 1991.

Daniel bounced back from a disappointing end to his rookie year in 2009 by posting 10.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.4 blocks to bag the NCAA MVP trophy as San Beda won its fourth title in five seasons via a historic 18-game sweep.

In helping Ateneo win its third straight UAAP crown, Long was one of the major contributors for the Blue Eagles.

The veteran guard tallied 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals and was mostly tasked to play solid defense and at hit crucial shots when needed.

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