WITH Bright Akhuetie being named the UAAP Season 81 MVP, three key players from University of Perpetual Help’s NCAA Season 91 team have won the top individual plum, one way or another.
Akhuetie’s good friend Prince Eze was recently named the NCAA MVP this season as he led Perpetual to a surprising run to the Final Four this year. The Akhuetie MVP, Eze, said, is the culmination of ‘friendship goals.’
The 6-foot-10 big man from Nigeria was proud of how Akhuetie overcame the hurdles and become a crucial part of the University of the Philippines’ first trip to the UAAP Finals in 32 years.
“The journey is really tough, first coming to Philippines then moving to different a school, then people having different opinions of him leaving. But he kept his focus in school and basketball. I am happy because he's able to pull it off under his first playing year and going to the finals,” said Eze.
“I am happy with him being MVP, but that did not surprise me, cause I knew what he can do. It’s going to the finals that got my attention,” Eze added. “Proud of you, brother.”
But the pair were not the only ones to find success after that season.
Their team leader Scottie Thompson, who won the NCAA MVP a year before that, is already turning out to be one of the brightest stars in the PBA – having been named the Finals MVP in Ginebra’s run to the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup championship.
With such talent, it was a surprise that that Altas batch failed to make the semifinals, finishing fifth with an 11-7 record in a season where many expected them to win the championship.
Eze can only look back in disappointment.
“We missed our opportunity, it still hurt my eyes seeing the team roster, and players we had,” he added.
Akhuetie said he was equally proud of what his ‘brothers’ achieved.
“These guys are really MVP material. We couldn’t all get it in Perpetual because it just has to be one. So we moved our separate ways and there it is. That’s the better explanation,” Akhuetie said with a laugh.