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    Bright Akhuetie becomes first UP player since 1986 to win MVP award

    Nov 19, 2018
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    BRIGHT Akhuetie is the UAAP Season 81 MVP.

    The hulking Nigerian became the first winner of the highest individual plum from University of the Philippines since Eric Altamirano won the award in 1986, the year the Fighting Maroons last won the championship.

    Akhuetie lived up to expectations in his first UAAP season since moving to UP from Perpetual Help as he helped the Maroons reach the Final Four for the first time in 21 years as the three seed with its 8-6 record.

    And it didn't come as a surprise that his numbers backed the success, collecting 82.5 total statistical points after averaging 18.85 points, 14.64 rebounds, 2.78 assists, 1.07 steals, and 0.92 blocks.

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      Finishing next to Akhuetie in the MVP race was Ateneo's Angelo Kouame, who got 76.21 total statistical points as the Ivorian big man nabbed 14.42 points, 13.64 rebounds, and 3.21 blocks.

      Kouame, though, won't be a part of the Mythical Team owing to the long-standing UAAP rule that only allows the top foreign player to enter the best five, but won't go home empty-handed as he is this season's Rookie of the Year.

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      Rather, joining Akhuetie in the Mythical Five are University of the East super scorer Alvin Pasaol with his 74.57 SPs, UP playmaker Juan Gomez de Liano with his 63.86 SPs, La Salle big man Justine Baltazar with his 61.29 SPs, and Adamson sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi with his 58.38 SPs.

      Pasaol led the league in scoring in possibly his final season in the collegiate league with 24.36 points per game, the highest average for a local since 2003.

      Gomez de Liano, meanwhile, became the first player since Marvin Cruz in 2006 to tally a triple-double back in UP's 94-81 second round win over UE with his 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists.

      Just narrowly missing the cut was UST sensation CJ Cansino, who collected 57.31 SPs.

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      PHOTO: marlo cueto
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