WARNING: Perpetual’s Akhuetie wants to shoot more threes
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 19, 2016 04:07 PM
EXPANDING HIS GAME. Bright Akhuetie wants to add some long-range missiles to his arsenal.
September 10, 2015.
That was the date when Bright Akhuetie threw down a tomahawk jam over the head of Ola Adeogun – undoubtedly the dunk of last season and quite possibly the dunk of the decade.
Not only was it arguably the top highlight in any local list, it was also, in essence, a passing of the torch from the most Filipinized foreign student in Adeogun to the up-and-coming force in the Philippines that is Akhuetie.
As it turns out, however, that dunk, and many others before and after it, as well as his paint presence aren’t the only things the Nigerian wants to be known for. “I wanna start shooting threes,” he shared with ABS-CBN Sports while laughing.
A year ago, the University of Perpetual Help standout had 220 shot attempts to his name and only 14 of them came from behind the arc. Of those 14, he only made a couple for a 14 percent clip from long range.
Proving that he’s not kidding around, Akhuetie then went on to say that he has been working extra hard on his threes in practice. Come game time, however, he recognizes that doing that isn’t going to help his team as he said, “I can do that, but I really care more about rebounds. If I miss, who’s gonna get the rebound?”
Such willingness to sacrifice for the better of the team has been fueled by the disappointment the Altas experiences last season. With Akhuetie and “Mr. Triple-Double” Scottie Thompson, they were expected to contend for the championship only to find themselves out of the playoff picture at the end of eliminations.
Clearly, falling short of expectations was a learning experience for the second-year reinforcement. “I actually had high hopes then, I thought we were going to make it to the Finals,” he expressed.
He then continued, “But it’s okay. What I believe is, if it didn’t work out, it means something big is coming. So, something big is coming.”
Still, Akhuetie made it a point to state that Perpetual is not his team. As he put it, “It’s not my team, it’s our team. It’s everybody’s team, not just me.”
He then continued, “Yes, I have to make more plays for the other guys, but they have to step up and I have to step up.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.