Fil-Am Ethan Alvano Makes History, Earns First Non-Korean KBL MVP Award

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Ethan Alvano

Ethan Alvano’s Historic Journey in the Korean Basketball League

Another Filipino made history in the international league as Filipino-American guard Ethan Alvano became the first Asian import and non-Korean player to win domestic MVP honors in the Korean Basketball League (KBL). Alvano was officially named MVP on Monday, April 1, as KBL recognized the top performers of the 2023-24 regular season in an awards ceremony.

In his second year in the league, Alvano showed his full potential by averaging 15.9 points on 40.9 percent three-point shooting, 6.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 54 regular-season games. With his leadership, DB Prony earned the top seed entering the postseason with a 41-13 (win-loss) card. He carried the team alongside his newly awarded KBL foreign MVP, Dedric Lawson.

Fil-Am Ethan Alvano was awarded with an elusive 2023-2024 KBL MVP (Image source)

Alvano became the fifth Promy player to win MVP after Kim Joosung (2003-04 and 2007-08), Shin Kisung (2004-05), Yoon Hoyoung (2011-12), and Doo Kyungmin (2017-18). Last season, RJ Abarrientos – who played for Ulsan Hyundai Mobis – was the first non-Korean player to win Rookie of the Year honors.

The 6-foot point guard played college basketball for the Eastern Michigan Eagles and the CSU San Marcos Cougars. After his college stint, he went to the Philippines in 2018 to play for Alab Pilipinas for the 2018–19 ABL season. That season, Alab failed to defend its title, losing to Hong Kong Eastern in the quarterfinals. Alvano averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game as a starter under former head coach Jimmy Alapag, who is now an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA, in his time with Alab.

In 2020, the Corona, California native signed with Thai club Hi-Tech Bangkok City in the Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL). In his time in Thailand, he averaged 19.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.

On September 6, 2021, it was announced that Alvano had signed with Eisbären Bremerhaven in Germany. He played with them for a season, averaging 9.8 points on 31% shooting from three, alongside 3.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.1 steals.

On July 6, 2022, Alvano inked a deal with Wonju DB Promy of the Korean Basketball League (KBL) – becoming the fourth Filipino player to take his act in Korean basketball. Before playing in the KBL, he got to play in the Drew League and played against Lebron James. In his first season in Korea, Alvano showed his all-around numbers when he scored double digits. Still, his team continued to pile up losses and failed to make the playoffs, finishing seventh in the standings with only the top 6 qualifying.

In the 2023-2024 season, Alvano came back with a vengeance and dominated the league with his smart plays in route to being the first Filipino Asian Quota Player to win the MVP and the second to win an annual award after RJ Abarrientos win Rookie of the Year the previous season. He also made it to the KBL Best 5 for that season.

Ethan Alvano’s Early Life

Ethan Alvano was born in Corona, California, to Ramon and Rowena Alvano, both Filipinos. He was born on July 26, 1996, and grew up with one brother and one sister. However, his father died on July 3, 2011.

As a senior in high school, Alvano averaged a whopping 23.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.9 steals, and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 47% from the field, including 48% from 3-point range and 86% from the free-throw line.

He led Corona High School to its first 20-win season since 2005–06. Some of his accolades include being named co-MVP with fellow Fil-Am Sedrick Barefield in the Big VIII tournament that season and being selected to the CIF All-Area Second Team.

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Ed Umbao

Founder of | co-Founder of

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