With legendary coach Aric del Rosario and triple-double machine Scottie Thompson no longer around, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta was bound to take a step back in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 92 men’s basketball tournament.
Only, Bright Akhuetie was having none of it.
The Nigerian powerhouse has put the Altas on his shoulders en route to a three-game winning streak that has them tied for second-place with a 5-2 standing. Two of those wins came within the span of three days when he averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and 3.5 blocks.
For his strong stat line and 2-0 record through the week, Akhuetie was recognized as the Accel Quantum Plus-3XVI NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week for July 24 to 30.
The highlight of Akhuetie’s week was a match up against Lyceum of the Philippines University’s Harry Nzeusseu who got the better of him for three quarters. Come the final frame, however, Akhuetie pounded in 10 points to single-handedly almost outscore all of their opponents and take control of the game for Perpetual.
The 19-year-old wound up with 13 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in the 71-68 win. This, following a 21-point, nine-rebound, and four-block power performance in a 70-55 rout that kept College of St. Benilde out of the win column.
The way he sees it, the Altas’ big man is doing nothing special. As he put it, “I’m just here to play basketball. I don’t think about those because I just do everything I can to help out my team.”
Nonetheless, he knew that he could only get better – and that’s a scary thought for the rest of the field in the tournament. “Of course, I still have so much to improve. Hopefully, our winning continues,” he expressed.
Akhuetie edged out Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Rey Nambatac and San Beda College’s Davon Potts for the weekly honor.