Jerry Yee on Rookie of the Year Isa Molde: Well-deserved

Basketball 3-pointer: High school athlete with a disability hits shot of a lifetime

UP coach Jerry Yee congratulated his ward, Isa Molde, for being the UAAP’s best rookie for Season 78.

Honing Molde from her high school years at Hope Christian HS, Yee has seen the Cebu native’s development into an all-around player who helped the Lady Maroons make the Final Four for the first time in 12 years.

“Well-deserved,” the veteran mentor told FOX Sports. “Naglaro lang ng tuloy-tuloy. May ups and downs, fans and, I heard, detractors also. Pero ayun, well-deserved award.”

Molde will be feted on Wednesday when the league awards its top individual performers before Game 2 of the finals.

After playing for the national youth team in several tournaments, Molde took her talents to Diliman, where she has shown maturity and a varied offensive arsenal.

With her talent, Yee believes the freshman will be part of UP’s “MVP” core for the next 4 seasons.

“She’ll be part of my MVP core for years to come. I don’t wanna think about leading the whole league. It’s not our priority,” he added. “Basta MVPs ng team namin for sure.”

Part of that “MVP” core is another rookie in Diana Carlos, who also consistently delivered solid performances for the Lady Maroons this season.

Yee also paid tribute to the Pampanga native for proving she belongs as one of the rising stars of the UAAP.

“Kudos also to Diana Mae Carlos for pushing her well for both of them to be at the front of the pack,” said the coach.

With the success of Yee’s rookies this season, will he be bringing in another who will make a run for the award in Season 79?

“Pahinga na muna kami sa salitang rookie next season,” he shared. “Focused muna kami on getting stronger to improve on our finish this season.” — By Josiah Albelda