In just four games, Arellano University’s Filipino-Australian big man Cade Flores has already proven his worth to the Chiefs.
The 6-foot-4 bruiser has averaged 11.75 points and 11.75 rebounds so far in National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 98, all while filling in the big shoes left behind by Justin Arana.
His best game yet came against two-time titlist Letran last Sunday, when he tallied 18 points and nine rebounds to tow Arellano into snapping the Knights’ 14-game winning streak dating back to 2019.
Behind that double-double average and statement win, Flores has been hailed as this year’s first Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week presented by the Philippine Sports Commission.
The impact rookie bested CSB’s Migs Oczon, San Sebastian’s Rommel Calahat, and LPU’s Enoch Valdez for the weekly award, supported by minor sponsors MNL Kingpin and Tinapayan Festival, handed out by scribes from print and online covering the beat.
For Flores, upsetting the defending champions shows that Arellano, as a team, is to be reckoned with.
“I’m liking the challenge. It helps build confidence with each other. We take each game as a challenge to us,” said the 24-year-old after the Chiefs’ first win over the Knights in six years.
The top guns for Arellano then? None other than Jio Jalalon and Kent Salado, who led the school to its second finals appearance – and its most recent playoff berth. At 3-1 this season, Flores is upbeat about the Chiefs’ chances at doing the same.