Sollano admits Akhuetie has been his toughest opponent yet

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 22, 2016 04:25 PM
Sollano admits Akhuetie has been his toughest opponent yet
KILL IT WITH KINDNESS. Jom Sollano only had the highest of praises for an opponent who dominated him.

While Rey Nambatac gets all the attention, it’s Jom Sollano who has stood as the pillar on both ends for Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Facing off against University of Perpetual Help, however, the second-year center was unable to do much on both offense on defense. Gracious as ever, he acknowledged that he was on the losing end of his duel with Bright Akhuetie by saying, “Siguro, pinaghandaan niya talaga ako. Pinaghandaan ko naman siya pero siguro, mas pinaghandaan lang niya talaga ako.”

Indeed, the Cebu native was frustrated into only six points and five rebounds all while muffing on eight of his 11 shots. This, after he averaged 9.8 points in 43 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds through five games against the likes of Donald Tankoua, Hamadou Laminou, Clement Leutcheu, and Lervin Flores.

Akhuetie had his way from start to finish so much so that Sollano said he took away the identity of the Knights. As he put it, “Lahat, nanggigigil tapos hindi nasunod yung sistema. Yung laro namin, ibang-iba.”

For his part, the Nigerian foreign-student said his 21-point, 16-rebound, three-block domination was all because he wanted to return his teammates’ trust. “My teammates did not stop pushing me. That’s why I wanted to give my best to make them happy,” he said.

After Akhuetie got the better of him, the Letran team captain, modest as always, had the highest of praises for his conqueror. Asked if Akhuetie was the most difficult foe he has played against thus far in the tournament, he answered, “Sa ngayon, siguro siya.”

He was quick to add, however, promising nothing but a bounce back to the Intramuros faithful, “Pero sa susunod na game, paghahandaan ko lalo.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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