Altas to lean on Nigerian giants this season


University of Perpetual Help System DALTA will be banking on the prowess of Nigerian Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze in the Season 92 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament after its playmaker Earl Scottie Thompson has finished his playing years with the Altas.

Thompson has just turned professional and is now playing with Barangay Ginebra in the Philippine Basketball Association.

The 6’8 Akhuetie had an average of 20 points and 16 rebounds per game, while the 6’11 forward Eze serves as his back up. The Altas will be playing under its new coach Antonio Tamayo.

Under the tutelage of veteran mentor Aric del Rosario, the Altas finished with an 11-7 win-loss record last season but failed to enter the Final Four. They are aiming to improve on their sixth place finish last year.

“We are confident of our chances this coming NCAA season,” said Tamayo in a statement. Under his wings are assistant coaches Nigerian Nosa Omorogbe, Jimwell Gican and Jonas Kintanar.

Without Thompson, last year’s back up point guard Gabriel Dagangon is expected to step up this season with the support of Nikoli Cabiltes, Gerald Dizon, Antonio Coronel, Ric Gallardo, Kevin Oliveria, Flash Sadiwa, Keith Pido and John Ylagan.

Rookies Daryl Singontiko and Jonathan Andrew Yuhico will also provide the needed firepower for Perpetual.

The Altas will play first against the Arellano University Chiefs on Sunday at 12 noon.

Season 92 kicks off on Saturday as reigning champion Letran College faces San Beda College at 2 p.m. while Jose Rizal University and Mapua collide in the second match at 4 p.m.

The late Filipino basketball legend Carlos “Caloy”Loyzaga will be honored during the opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. His No. 14 jersey will also be retired during the event.


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