Akhuetie shines bright, bags Player of the Week honors
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 13, 2015 01:42 PM
LIKE A DIAMOND. Bright Akhuetie has yet again proven that he deserves all the preseason hype.
After a disappointing first round loss at the hands of Ola Adeogun and San Beda, University of Perpetual Help's Bright Akhuetie vowed to himself and to his teammates and coaches that he was gonna do whatever it takes to break even against the five-time reigning champions.
That he did. And a little bit more.
Akhuetie finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds and highlighted it with an epic game-winning basket at the buzzer in outplaying Adeogun anew as the Altas edged the Red Lions 88-86 in NCAA Season 91.
That performance was enough for 18-year-old Nigerian to be adjudged the NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week, the second time that he plucked the weekly individual plum - a fitting birthday gift for the Nigerian who just turned 19 last Saturday.
"I know we can beat them. After the first round, we talked to ourselves that we have to make it even," Akhuetie said
But more so than his eye-popping stats and the game winner, that game will be remembered for one glaring play - a play that will be replayed in the tournament highlight reel for years to come.
With over three minutes left and Perpetual trailing by one, Akhuetie received a pass from Scottie Thompson near the elbow and soared right in front of Adeogun before throwing down a monstrous tomahawk jam in front of the San Beda center sending the Perpetual gallery into a frenzy.
"Even I didn't see it coming. I'd have to give credit to Scottie for that pass. When it's Ola defending you, you have to go hard like that to score," the soft-spoken Nigerian added.
Akhuetie edged out Arellano's Jiovanni Jalalon, Letran's Mark Cruz and Mapua's Allwell Oraeme for the weekly plum.