BRIGHT Akhuetie ended a 32-year drought for University of the Philippines as he was officially named as the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball MVP on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Nigerian slotman became the first Fighting Maroon to win the highest individual plum since Eric Altamirano in 1986.
Akhuetie's impact was truly felt for UP as it made its first Final Four appearance since 1997 and was able to reach the Finals appearance since winning the cup in 1986.
Joining Akhuetie in the Mythical Team was his UP teammate Juan Gomez de Liano, University of the East super scorer Alvin Pasaol, La Salle big man Justine Baltazar, and Adamson marksman Jerrick Ahanmisi.
Gomez de Liano was also feted as the Manulife Playmaker of the Season and the Milo Nutri Up "Up Your Galing" Award, while graduating Adamson forward Sean Manganti was named as the Appeton Most Improved Player and the PSBankable Player of the Season.
Meanwhile, Ateneo's hulking center Ange Kouame did not go empty handed as the Ivorian slotman was hailed as the Rookie of the Year.
He was the first foreign player to receive the award for neophytes. He was also the first top rookie from Katipunan since Arvin Tolentino in 2014.