Shawn Umali has fully embraced his role as go-to guy for the Lyceum of the Philippines University this National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 seniors’ basketball competition.
The grizzled veteran displayed his fine form on a consistent basis in the Pirates’ early roll which propelled them on top of the standings.
What made Lyceum’s three-game run even more amazing was the fact that the squad knocked down title favorites defending champion Letran College, las year’s runner-up College of Saint Benilde and a very talented University of Perpetual Help System Dalta side.
All with Umali at the helm.
The 6-foot-3 bruiser has put together averages of 12.0 points, 5.67 rebounds, and 2.0 assists as the unbeaten Pirates sailed to the solo lead.
His stellar performance earned Umali the distinction of being named the first Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week for Season 99.
Umali, a former Letran high school standout, had his best game this week against the four-peat-seeking Knights, churning out 15 points, three rebounds and one assist as Lyceum escaped with a 70-69 victory.
For Umali, it’s just about getting ready whenever his number is called up in the big moments by head coach Gilbert Malabanan.
“For me, I just tried to give my best to help the team. I don’t look at my scores,” Umali said. “My mindset is focused on how I could help the team win.”
He outshined other notable performers in Emilio Aguinaldo College’s JP Maguliano, Agem Miranda of Jose Rizal University, San Beda University’s Jacob Cortez, and Clint Escamis of Mapua University for the weekly award presented by the San Miguel Corporation and backed by minor sponsor Discovery Suites.
While Umali continues to prove his worth for Lyceum, Malabanan said he expects new heroes will shine every game as the Pirates aim to surpass last season’s Final Four finish.
“I have been saying this since last season: my team is unpredictable. You won’t know who will explode for us,” Malabanan said.