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Championship > MVP as Soulemane Chabi Yo plays big for UST


Despite being the smallest foreign-athlete in UAAP at 6-foot-6, Soulemane Chabi Yo played like he is the biggest man in the league.

Playing at the four spot, the Beninese athlete was forced to play at the center position after big men Ira Bataller and Dave Ando were hampered with foul troubles.

“Talking about this game, I’m a little bit worried because na-foul trouble yung mga bigs namin and he played extended minutes,” said UST head coach Aldin Ayo.

“That’s why I kept asking him, ‘Are you okay? Are you okay?’ And he kept on telling me, ‘Coach, this is a do-or-die game. I’m going to play.'”

Not only was the athletic Chabi Yo stepped up as the tallest guy in the team, but also dominated the game with his 25-point, 11-rebound double-double performance against FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday.

“He’s not going to slow down I know him personally. When he said that he wants the championship more, well, he really means it,” Ayo shared.

The Tigers just advanced to the next level by knocking out FEU, 81-71, in a stepladder matchup.

“Today it was a do-or-die game. We just tried to play good defense and then execute the plays and follow the system of the coach,” said Chabi Yo.

“We wanted to play our A-game today so that we’ll win so that’s what we did. We started strong and we tried to finish strong. We had mistakes we had to overcome. Next game we’ll try to do our best more.”

Speaking of dominance, Chabi Yo was hailed as Season 82’s Most Valuable Player after garnering 76 statistical points (SPs) with his game averages of 16.9 points, 14.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

However, he has been consistent with his claim that MVP award ain’t thing without a ring.

“For me, it’s okay that’s good but what’s more important is the championship so we have to give all our best. Today that’s what we did, I tried to give my best, offense, defense, with the help of all my teammates we made it,” Chabi Yo sharred.