Altas confident of another Final Four stint minus Akhuetie
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 20, 2017 02:44 PM
Perpetual Help coach Nosa Omorogbe (left) is confident that the Altas will be able to duplicate their Final Four stint last year despite the departure of Nigerian compatriot Bright Akhuetie (right)
There is life after Bright Akhuetie.
Perpetual Help is moving on minus its Nigerian star as it parades a veteran roster when it launches its campaign in the 93rd NCAA basketball tournament unfolding on July 8 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
With Akhuetie transferring to University of the Philippines, the Altas will be pinning their hopes on their other Nigerian cager, Prince Eze as they try to match their Final Four finish last year when they came one game away from advancing to the finals before losing to the San Beda Lions, the eventual champions.
Perpetual Help coach Nosa Omorogbe, however, said they will need more than what the 6-foot-11 Eze could give to duplicate last year's finish.
"We'll need contribution not just from Eze but all the players," said Omorogbe, a Nigerian himself who played a couple of years for the Las Pinas-based school a few years ago before getting the call the coach his alma mater last season.
While Perpetual Help lost Akhuetie, it kept the core of its old team like AJ Coronel, Gab Dagangon, JG Ylagan, Kieth Pido, Flash Gordon Sadiwa and Jack Hao among others.
While it has a seasoned roster, Perpetual Help had a hard time adjusting to Akhuetie's absence and won only three of their eight games and failed to make it to the quarterfinals.
Interestingly, Perpetual Help downed Ateneo, 60-59, that spoiled the latter's bid to make it to the playoff round.
Omorogbe said they are taking it a game at a time.
"It's a process and there are no shortcuts to success. But we're slowly but surely improving and I expect more improvements come the NCAA tournament proper," he said.