NCAA MVP Prince Eze, UAAP MVP favorite Bright Akhuetie were once teammates

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 09, 2018 03:51 PM
NCAA MVP Eze, UAAP MVP favorite Akhuetie were once teammates
Up to three MVPs played together in Perpetual's 2015 squad

University of Perpetual Help missed the Final Four in the 91st Season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

That was Scottie Thompson’s last year as an Alta as well as the first seasons of Nigerian reinforcements Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze in wine and gold.

Yes, you read that right – Thompson, Akhuetie, and Eze played together and the three of them didn’t make the playoffs together back in 2015.

Thompson was already a star when he was still in Las Pinas, getting one MVP award as well as two Mythical selections before getting drafted by and now shining bright for Ginebra.

Akhuetie and Eze also made an immediate impact then, but it’s only now, three years later, that they reached their peak – with the latter poised to hoist the NCAA MVP and the former the frontrunner for the UAAP MVP.

For that, Akhuetie is nothing but proud of his former teammate. “He’s always been good. Even last season, he was, but they didn’t make the Final Four,” he said, referring to a year ago when Eze also topped the MVP race, but didn’t win the award because Perps failed to advance past the elimination round.

He then continued, “All I have to say is his hard work finally paid off and he really deserves it.”

Eze will be formally awarded with the MVP award on Monday and in a few weeks, Ahkuetie may very well be getting his own top individual player trophy. He is, at present, pacing the MVP race in the UAAP.

However, the University of the Philippines’ powerhouse isn’t guaranteeing a win just yet. “Let’s just watch and see,” he said.

Whatever happens with Akhuetie, Eze is now the NCAA’s MVP – meaning, the 2015 Altas had a couple of league MVPs on their roster.

For his part, Thompson said he is nothing but proud that the top individual player hails from Las Pinas once more. As he put it, “Sobrang happy ako for him dahil alam ko kung gaano niya pinaghirapan yung game niya. Isa talaga siya sa nagdala sa Perpetual sa Final Four.”

He then continued, “I’m proud kasi from Perpetual ulit (ang MVP). I’m sure, happy yung community namin.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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