UAAP Finals: Injured Akhuetie reaches out to Kouame
Danine Cruz on Dec 02, 2018 08:39 PM
"We're good, he's my boy." -- Akhuetie on Kouame
After the University of the Philippines' Bright Akhuetie suffered a hyperextended left knee injury due to a contact from Ateneo de Manila University's Ange Kouame in the Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 Finals, the latter was the subject of jeers from the maroon side present in the Mall of Asia Arena.
Moments after the game that saw the Blue Eagles draw first blood, Kouame admitted that the boos dampened his spirits.
"It had an effect on me. It has an impact on me, especially right now. I really feel that. I never thought it's gonna happen but this has happened and I have to accept that and live with that cause it's my rookie year," said Kouame.
Akhuetie shared that he saw the ABS-CBN Sports article and took it upon himself to reach out first to his fellow foreign student-athlete to clear the air between them.
"We talked after the game on Instagram. I told him to not mind the boos, it's basketball, it happens, and I'll be okay," said the Fighting Maroon who initiated the conversation with the Ivorian student-athlete.
"I saw his interview and I read it and I was like, I saw something like he lost confidence or something with the boos and that that he was affected, so I had to tell him to keep his head up. It's basketball," said the Nigerian big man.
Kouame mentioned after the game that he tried saying sorry to Akhuetie during the game but as per Akhuetie he did not hear it especially inside the Mall of Asia Arena with almost 21,000 fans.
"I didn't hear him say anything. When I got back in, I just have to play the way referees wanted us to play - physical," shared the UAAP Season 81 MVP.
As for Akhuetie's injury, he is still yet to know whether he is cleared to play or not after taking further medical exams on Monday, two days before Game 2.
"I don't know, I have to do the second evaluation tomorrow before I know what's up," he said before mentioning that he has already underwent x-ray and MRI scans in UP-PGH.
Regardless, Akhuetie who is set to receive his MVP award minutes before Game 2 expressed that he is fully confident that the Fighting Maroons can bounce back in the series.
"If you really watch the game closely, you can tell, we surprised them [Ateneo]. They probably thought it's gonna be a walk in the park but we surprised them and they know we were coming. And we know we can come, come on," he said.
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