May 29, 2024

UAAP: After third Player of the Week citation, who can stop Josh Ybanez from grabbing back-to-back MVPs?

UAAP: After third Player of the Week citation, who can stop Josh Ybanez from grabbing back-to-back MVPs?
Josh Ybanez faces several challengers for the MVP Award in UAAP Season 86. | Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports

Despite the UST Golden Spikers sitting in fourth place with a 7-5 record, it’s safe to say that Josh Ybañez is the clear MVP frontrunner for the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament.

Going for back-to-back MVP crowns, Ybañez has carried the University of Santo Tomas throughout the season with his performances.

In fact, out of the seven games that the Golden Spikers have won, Ybañez was hailed as the Player of the Game (POG) four times.

It started during their opening match against National University, where the reigning MVP put up 13 points in the Golden Spikers' stunning sweep of the Bulldogs.

Ybañez would then be hailed the POG in UST’s matches against Adamson University, both in the first and second rounds.

The fourth citation came just last Wednesday, April 10, when Ybañez dropped 23 points to lead the Golden Spikers past the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.

 

Given his performances, Ybanez was also hailed the Player of the Week for three consecutive periods.

[ALSO READ: UAAP: UST’s Poyos, Ybanez grab third UAAP Player of the Week citations after stellar performances]

But the question now remains: Who can challenge the UST superstar for the MVP crown?

After all, the 5-foot-7 sophomore is first in scoring and receiving, second in serving,  fourth in spiking, and eight in digging so far in the preliminaries.

Despite this all-around performance, there are still a few players who can argue their case for the MVP award based on the UAAP’s statistics.

Nico Almendras (National University)

Almendras has been a consistent performer for the Bulldogs whether it be on the offensive or defensive side of the court.

Case in point: NU’s four-set loss to De La Salle University where Almendras tallied 22 points to go along with 39 excellent receptions.

Almendras ranks second in receiving, third in spiking, and fifth in scoring--further proof of his all-around game.

Joshua Retamar (National University)

Aside from Almedras, Retamar likewise has been at the top of his game for the Bulldogs throughout Season 86.

The graduating setter has been prolific in activating NU’s spikers as they’ve looked dominant for most of the tournament.

Leading the setting and serving department, Retamar’s only downfall is the scoring statistic—which is not his fault as he is a setter.

Noel Kampton (De La Salle University)

Kampton has built a case for a possible MVP run given the Green Spikers’ campaign so far in the season.

Despite not leading in any department, the 6-foot-2 outside hitter found himself included in the top ten among four different statistical categories: second in serving, sixth in spiking, as well as ninth in scoring and in receiving.

Should La Salle manage to make it to the Finals, Kampton could see himself raising the MVP trophy, becoming the first Green Spiker to win the award since Red Christensen in Season 75.

Who's your pick for MVP?