PRINCE Orizu could only put his hands on his face in frustration as Bright Akhuetie imposed his presence in the paint.
With him still recovering from a high grade sprain on his left ankle, the Nigerian big man felt helpless on the bench as his close friend was responsible in leading University of the Philippines to a 95-82 victory over Far Eastern University on Wednesday.
Akhuetie was a beast down low on his way to a near triple-double performance of 20 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists, leaving Orizu thinking of the next time he can get retribution on the leading MVP candidate.
"I just hope I get a chance to get back at him. That's all I can say. He played well today and I have to give him credit for that," he said.
Akhuetie's stellar night further added to the frustrations Orizu is feeling as he remains in the inactive list especially now when the Tamaraws need him the most.
"It's really tough. I can't do anything as much as I want to help. I can't do anything," he rued. "I'm trying to recover as fast as I can. I'm getting better slowly, but I hope for a faster recovery though."
"They're trying to at least double my therapy and strengthening. It's kind of hard because at the same time, they don't want me to overwork it and maybe it's going to get worse too, so it's kind of complicated."
Orizu's presence is sorely missed as he averages 8.6 points and 9.6 rebounds in 23 minutes on the floor this season.
That couldn't get any more magnified for FEU as it sits at joint fourth place with UP, both of which carrying identical 5-5 records, in a hotly contested race to the Final Four.
The Tamaraws, though, are keeping their fingers crossed that Orizu recovers in time for their all-important duel against La Salle on Saturday, a crucial game with heavy playoff implications.
Orizu also feels the same way.
"I hope I can play on Saturday but I don't know. I cant really say. It's up to when I start running a little bit and if I can really play outside of it, but I'm trying to do everything I can and hopefully, by God's grace, I can play on Saturday," he said.
"If not, I just have to motivate them the best way I can in the sidelines and in the bench. That's what Im trying to do."