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    Battle for Bright Akhuetie now a three-team race as La Salle enters picture

    Nov 29, 2016
    Bright Akhuetie says he's in no rush to make a decision on which school to play for next. Jaime Campos

    THE UAAP season is not yet over, but top teams are already in a mad scramble for the services of former NCAA player Bright Akhuetie.

    While Ateneo and University of the Philippines are known to pursue the hand-banging Nigerian, Akhuetie himself told on Tuesday that De La Salle has entered the picture.

    “Yeah, they (La Salle) already called me. Somebody I know was talking to me and he is also talking to La Salle,” said the wide-bodied slotman, who has no agent and represents himself in negotiations.

    The Perpetual Help Altas star believes that if given the chance to wear the Green Archers uniform, he can surely fill the void to be left behind by La Salle’s current big man Ben Mbala.

    “I think I can fill in the vacuum that will be left behind by Ben, of course, why not?” said Akhuetie, who is coming off a stint with a Philippine team in a 3x3 tournament in Qatar.

    [See Altas exec confirms Akhuetie wants out amid Ateneo-Up 'tug of war']

    Akhuetie likewise bared that playing in the PBA as an import in the future is one of his ultimate goals and that making the La Salle roster will be one step in that direction with the Taft-based squad's link to San Miguel Corp., owner of three professional ballclubs.

    “Playing in the PBA is one of my prospects. If it comes, I will definitely take it. La Salle has three teams in the PBA,” he said.

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    But at this point, Akhuetie bared that he is not yet focusing on the negotiations as he is set to fly to Nigeria next week for a short vacation.

    “I am not yet (seriously) talking to anybody now, because I wanted them to focus on the playoffs and season. When everything is over, I can talk,” he said.

    Asked which among La Salle, Ateneo and UP is the most aggressive in pursuing him, Akhuetie said: “UP, I will say, because the coach is my friend, coach Bo (Perasol). He checks on me almost everytime.”

    “He’s not pressuring me to come over, but we talk a lot because he is my friend,” added Akhueite.

    [See Mbala to meet his match in new UST recruit Steve Akomo, says Cebu coach]

    Akhuetie said he expects to come to a decision after the Christmas season.

    “How do I treat this now? I want to go home for a while for Christmas to see my family then come back to make a decision. I am not yet in a hurry right now, I am still taking my time,” he said.

    And what will be his barometer in choosing the team he’ll next play for, Akhuetie was asked.

    “I don’t know. It’s not really about the offer, it’s about me being happy. Where will I be happy? I really don’t know. I can’t tell right now, I am gonna pray about it so I can focus."

    Here's the interview with Akhuetie:

    Continue reading below ↓

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    Bright Akhuetie says he's in no rush to make a decision on which school to play for next. Jaime Campos
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