Villegas, Dela Rosa flaunt might

Breakout games in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were the catalysts to much-needed wins in the past week.

After a winless campaign last season, University of the East now holds a 3-2 card — with back-to-back wins to boot — courtesy of the impressive play of versatile forward Luis Villegas.

The first-year player is proving to be a rising star for the Red Warriors with averages of 16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in key wins against De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas.

Meanwhile, another rookie in Ateneo de Manila University’s Kacey Dela Rosa also turned heads with a stupendous stat line of 30 markers on 10-of-13 shooting, 20 boards, and seven blocks in their 67-61 victory over University of the Philippines.

Behind their breakout games, Villegas and Dela Rosa were hailed as the Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Co-Players of the Week presented by the Philippine Sports Commission.

“It’s not an easy league to play in. Every team is competitive and the physicality is real. It’s a little bit difficult, but I feel like it’s a better transition. For sure, this is a tough league,” Villegas said.

Villegas bested UP’s Carl Tamayo, National University’s Steve Nash Enriquez, and La Salle’s Schonny Winston, while Dela Rosa bested Ateneo teammate Joson and NU’s Mikka Cacho for the award also backed by MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey.

In the history of the weekly citations decided and deliberated upon by scribes from print and online regularly covering the league, this is the third time that two players shared the honor.

The first was NU’s Ria Nabalan and Ateneo’s Ange Kouame in October 2018 followed by then UST’s CJ Cansino and Adamson’s Mar Prado in October 2019.

The group also handed out Co-Players of the Week honors in the National Collegiate Athletic Association with San Beda University’s Robert Bolick and Letran University’s Bong Quinto in August 2018.

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