IT’S a two-way fight for the MVP race in the ongoing 76th University Athletic Association of the Philippines junior basketball wars.
La Salle Zobel Junior Archer Aljun Melecio leads the race, with National University Bullpups Justine Baltazar close behind.
Melecio is ahead with 78.928 points after ending the elimination round with norms of 22.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals, while Baltazar has 76.57 points, and with averages of 13.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks.
They are expected to shine even more as the stepladder semifinal action gets into their final stages.
Meanwhile, the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eaglets swamped the Far Eastern University-Diliman Baby Tamaraws, 84-68, last Wednesday in their stepladder semifinal encounter at the Arena in San Juan.
Sam Belangel, Jolo Mendoza and Gian Mamuyac led their teammates with double-digit outputs as the Blue Eaglets went on to advance to the second stepladder semifinal round.
Belangel, Mendoza and Mamuyac provided 15, 14 and 13 points for the Blue Eaglets, who stayed in contention for the finals once again.
The Blue Eaglets will next meet the twice-to-beat La Salle-Zobel Junior Archers on Monday at 9 a.m. to earn the right to face the top-seeded National University Bullpups in the finals.