Even Raymar Jose was surprised that he got the Conference MVP award for the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting this. I just gave my best every game, especially on my rebounding because that’s my strength. So I get all my confidence from there,” Jose, who is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Southeast Asian Games, told reporters in Filipino.
His numbers, though, back up his victory as he averaged 12.27 points and 10.18 rebounds for the conference to help Cignal advance to the Finals.
Though he was unable to help the Hawkeyes complete the championship run owing to his Gilas Pilipinas responsibilities, Jose said that the glory still would not be possible if not for his teammates.
“I’m happy for this because I won’t be able to get this if not for the coaching staff and my teammates, so I’m really grateful for them,” the 24-year-old bruiser said.
The MVP recognition is also proof that hardworking players like Jose, who are willing to do the dirty work, could also get their fair share of the limelight even if they’re not topping their teams in scoring.
“These awards are big for players like me that bank on our hardwork. Right now, almost everyone wants to score. They forget the little things like playing defense and rebounding,” he said.
Jose became only the third FEU alumnus to win the plum, after Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, but the 6-foot-4 said awards like these are just a bonus. The biggest prize remains winning the championship.
“We’re raised in FEU with the mindset that awards are just bonuses. We just want to do our best to help our team win,” he said.