WHEN Bright Akhuetie made the decision to head to Diliman and suit up for University of the Philippines, a lot of people expected the explosive big man out of Nigeria to bring his dominant high-scoring ways with him.
He might not be as imposing as he was back when he was with Perpetual when it comes to scoring – but Akhuetie is already making his presence felt in doing other things, his passing for example.
Akhuetie is currently in the top five of the UAAP when it comes to assists, posting averages of 3.8 assists through five games – showing maturity and patience that he lacked sometimes when he was with the Altas.
“Right now I’m on a team where everybody can really play. Me staying on the post, I’m gonna attract some defense, my teammates will definitely be open, if I force it, I might score or I might miss,” Akhuetie said.
“The easiest way is to look out for these guys who’ll be open and let them make the basket,” he added.
It’s not like his scoring has suffered as he still averages 14.2 points and 15.8 rebounds for the 2-3 Fighting Maroons.
Akhuetie said that he’s still yet to reach peak form this season, though he’s hoping that he’ll be hitting his stride before they enter the final stretch of the tournament.
“I’m enjoying, it’s really good. I think we’re getting back on track gradually. Hopefully before the end of the first round, I’ll be at 95 percent. I think I’m up to 80. Somewhere there,” he added.
Inconsistency has hounded Akhuetie and the Fighting Maroons, evident in their endgame blunders against Adamson and La Salle. The soft-spoken big man said that it might be pressure getting to them, but he assures the community that they’re already working on it.
“I kind of feel like it’s pressure, and sometimes we get too excited and then we lose focus on what’s happening on the floor. But we’re working on it.”