UNIVERSITY of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol has confirmed the team’s interest in signing up Bright Akhuetie in the school’s bid to sustain the revival of its men’s basketball program.
Perasol admitted he had spoken to Akhuetie and a representative of his school Perpetual Help where he openly expressed his interest in recruiting the Nigerian standout to the Fighting Maroons camp.
The UP coach added Akhuetie is just one of many players he is eyeing to recruit as the Maroons look to beef up their roster in an aggressive push to turn the school's fortunes around.
Perasol said having someone with the credentials of Akhuetie can immediately propel the basketball program to new heights after seasons in the doldrums.
“We really need someone like Bright that will provide excitement to the program. He will definitely give us a big boost by having a blue-chip player in the team,” said Perasol on Friday.
The former PBA coach once handled Akhueti as a consultant of Mighty Sports in the PCBL when the Nigerian suited up as an import during the Chairman’s Cup last summer.
UP isn’t the only school interested in Akhuetie as Ateneo is also said to be bent on getting the services of Akhuetie, who won spots in the NCAA Mythical Five in his two seasons with the Altas.
Ironically, Perasol is also a former coach of Ateneo.
Perpetual Help consultant Nosa Omorogbe admitted on Thursday Akhuetie is no longer inclined to return to the Altas next year, although the team is still open to have him back in the NCAA.
The Maroons are looking build on the momentum on a respectable performance where they finished with a 5-9 win-loss slate and were in the Final Four frame until the final playdates of the eliminations.