Akhuetie returns to carry Perpetual into win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 01, 2016 06:10 PM
Akhuetie returns to carry Perpetual into win column
ME BEFORE YOU. Bright Akhuetie and Perpetual won for the first time at the expense of still winless JRU.

Bright Akhuetie’s sprained right knee is not yet 100 percent.

It definitely didn’t look like it on Friday at the San Juan Arena, however, especially in the last four minutes.

The Nigerian pounded in eight of his 19 points in the endgame to power University of Perpetual Help right through Jose Rizal University, 58-50, and all the way to their first win in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sidelined in the Altas’ first assignment because of a sprained right knee, Akhuetie didn’t waste time reinforcing his dominance and keyed the decisive run that turned a one-point margin into a 57-50 advantage. During that timeframe, he outscored all of the Heavy Bombers by his lonesome, 8-4.

The second-year center added eight rebounds and a block for good measure to help Perpetual bounce back from their tournament-opening loss. Talking about his the boost his big man provided, coach Jimwell Gican said, “Malaking bagay talaga. Fino-force namin talaga siya na makabalik kasi kailangan namin serbisyo niya.”

Gerald Dizon and Gab Dagangon also merged for 22 points and 13 rebounds to gift Gican his first win in his return to the Perpetual coaching seat.

Hoping to surprise everybody by keeping themselves scarce in the preseason, JRU instead find themselves at 0-2 to begin the tournament. Teytey Teodoro’s 24 points went to waste because of the second straight setback.

BOX SCORES

PERPETUAL 58 - Akhuetie 19, Dizon 12, Dagangon 10, Ylagan 7, Eze 6, Pido 2, Singontiko 0, Cabiltes 0, Hao 0.

JRU 50 - Teodoro 24, Dela Paz 6, Grospe 6, Lasquety 5, Abdulwahab 4, Dela Virgen 3, Evardo 2, Poutouochi 0, Caballero 0, Cruz 0, Mendoza 0, Mendoza 0, Pontejos 0, Salaveria 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 14-14, 31-25, 42-39, 58-50.

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