BRIGHT Akhuetie is ready to play in Game Two of the UAAP Finals but the metal brace on his left knee became a cause of concern for Ateneo.
Ateneo officials raised the danger of Akhuetie playing with that metal knee brace, saying it could eventually hurt other players.
The discussion delayed tip-off by 10 minutes.
Ateneo officials also cited article 4.4.2 of the Fiba rules which prohibits the use of casts made of "leather, plastic, pliable (soft), metal, or any other hard substance, even if covered with soft padding."
In a midcourt huddle before tip-off, the doctor confirmed that they plan to let Akhuetie play, much to the disagreement of Ateneo coaches Tab Baldwin and Sandy Arespacochaga.
“You’re asking not to play by the rules. You’re making it out as we’re to blame. Know what you’ve done,” Baldwin told the referees before heading back to the bench.
After the conversation with Baldwin, the referees then went to the UP bench to tell head coach Bo Perasol that Akhuetie will have to take off the brace.
Akhuetie then took off the knee brace and played without one in the first half which ended with the Blue Eagles up, 48-37.