UP's Bright Akhuetie displays passing prowess in UAAP
Danine Cruz on Sep 30, 2018 05:50 PM
UP's Bright Akhuetie proves he is more than just a scorer and a rebounder.
Bright Akhuetie came to the UAAP for the University of the Philippines with a reputation as a scoring machine.
Back in the NCAA, he was this dominant force in the paint who will get buckets each time he has the chance to do so. But interestingly, as he plays his first UAAP season as a Fighting Maroon, he displayed another dimension in his game -- his passing ability.
Before their victory over De La Salle University, Sunday afternoon, Akhuetie had an average of 4.0 assists per game, ranked second in the league after four games just behind Green Archer point guard Kib Montalbo.
Although he only had three assists to go along his double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds in the win over La Salle, Akhuetie dished off a crucial assist to Juan Gomez De Liano for a basket when the Archers tried to rally with under a minute remaining.
"Cos like I've said before and I'll keep saying it, I'm now on a team where everybody can really play," said the Nigerian big man who used to play for the University of Perpetual Help.
"Me staying in the post, I'm gonna attract the defense so my teammates will definitely be open. If I force [my shots], I might score and miss. So the easiest way to look for are these guys who are open and then they will make the basket," added Akhuetie.
This shows how his game has matured through his years playing Philippine college basketball. But after a good game and a win, Akhuetie admits that he still has a lot of things to improve on.
"I'm getting back on track gradually and hopefully before the end of this first round I'll be like 95-percent. [Right now,] I don't know but I'm up to 80-percent, somewhere there," he explained.
Akhuetie and the rest of the Fighting Maroons finally stopped their bleeding after three straight losses as they pick up a win over La Salle. It was a relief not only to the UP fans but most especially to the team because Akhuetie shared that that losing streak was so "messed up" for them.
"It was really really bad. It was so messed up. We go to practice, we see everybody moody and stuff and we had to talk to ourselves," he narrated.
"We can't just lose like that, we are all tired of losing so we had to come back," Akhuetie added.
UP will try to stay away from their rough patch and try to improve their 2-3 standing as they face National University on October 8.