MANILA – Raul Soyud may not have the most glaring stats among the Most Improved Player (MIP) nominees this past Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season but for NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, he deserves the nomination.
“Hindi naman siya yung tipong magaling na agad eh. Kailangan niya talagang kumayod para gumaling and nakita nating nagpursige siya (He is not the type of player who is already talented upon entering the PBA. He really needed to work hard to become better, and we saw that he persevered),” Guiao said on Wednesday.
While JR Quiñahan remains the Road Warriors’ main big man, Soyud held his own, averaging 10.0 points highlighted by a career-high 27, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game last season as he became one of their key players in their late run to the playoffs.
For someone whose “story is indeed interesting to tell” according to Guiao, Soyud really rose to the occasion.
Soyud first starred for West Negros University early into his college career.
Seeing his potentials, the University of the Philippines then secured Soyud’s transfer, but the fact that the team had stale performances during his two-year stint hurt his chances of getting drafted early, eventually ending up as a third-round pick in the 2014 PBA Draft.
Soyud slowly worked his way up, and now, he has become an inside force for NLEX despite only a few observers noticing it last season.
The MIP award will be handed out alongside some other special citations in the PBA’s virtual special awards night on Sunday. (PNA)