Rosy outlook for Nigerian Akhuetie’s eligibility for UP in Season 81

Rosy outlook for Akhuetie’s eligibility for UP in Season 81
BRIGHT FUTURE. UP head coach Bo Perasol believes that now, nothing will hinder Bright Akhuetie's UAAP debut next season.

University of Sto. Tomas’ Steve Akomo and University of the Philippines’ Ibrahim Ouattara will, with finality, play in the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Along with the immediate impact for their current campaigns, the development also has future implications for the two teams as well as the rest of the league.

With the league’s Board of Trustees (BoT) allowing Akomo and Ouattara to play, the old two-year residency for foreign student-athletes seems to be no more.

The BoT is the official policy-making body made up of the presidents of all-member schools

Earlier, the eligibility committee recommended Akomo and Outtara for ineligibility, stating that they are yet to complete the two-year residency for foreign student-athletes – something that De La Salle University’s Ben Mbala had to undergo.

However, with the BoT deciding against the recommendation, they have, in turn, imposed only a one-year residency for foreign student-athletes.

If so, UP will have Nigerian powerhouse Bright Akhuetie ready to suit up for next season. Mentor Bo Perasol believes so in saying, “Yes, ibig sabihin niro, pwede na si Bright next year.”

Akhuetie, a two-time Mythical team member in his last year for University of Perpetual Help, transferred to Diliman with the hopes of bringing a long-awaited championship.

If he is indeed eligible to play by then, he will join forces with a graduating Paul Desiderio and seasoned youngsters Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Jun Manzo, and Noah Webb.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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