Last year, the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup 2015 spectators were in awe upon seeing a towering guy, who went to the court to play the center position of the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Men’s Basketball Team.
More so, questions started to hang around among the collegiate basketball aficionados who were at the FilOil Flying V Arena during that moment.
Who is that guy? Is he the new foreign acquisition of the Perpetual Help Altas?
Questions like these have surfaced, following the appearance of the “new player” that Coach Aric del Rosario has.
As the tall center began to show what he is made of during the opening quarter of the Altas in the Pre-Season Cup, the questions quickly turned into solid conclusions as to who the guy was.
He is Bright Akhuetie, the then-18-year-old towering center who sprung from Nigeria. And yes, he is the new import that the Las Pinas-based squad has acquired.
Akhuetie, who was just 18 years old back then, had left the spectators’ mouths hanging wide as he showcased what he was capable of during the Pre-Season League.
Since then, he has been making his presence widely known through his outstanding performances every game, most especially in the paint baskets, rebounds, and blocks he consistently tallies.
The all-around player continued to work wonders for the Altas until the Premier League concluded, thus giving him the moniker which suits him best, “Mr. Bright Side”.
As Akhuetie made an enormous impression in college basketball, more and more basketball fans grew interested in him and on how he will sustain the fiery run for Perpetual Help in the upcoming NCAA Season 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Perpetual Help, which was formerly mentored by veteran Coach Aric del Rosario, became one of the top contenders in the NCAA Season 91 alongside fellow league members San Beda Red Lions, Letran Knights, Mapua Cardinals, and JRU Heavy Bombers.
This stronghold of Perpetual Help last Season was made possible by star guard Scottie Thompson, Gabriel Dagangon, Gerald Dizon, and of course, the Mr. Bright Side himself, Bright Akhuetie.
The jaw-dropping performance that Akhuetie was making during the FilOil Pre-Season Cup just got better and better as he was playing for the Altas in the Philippines’ oldest collegiate basketball league, much to the college basketball fans’ astonishment.
From a double-double (points and assists) output, going to a monstrous series of triple-double (points, assists, rebounds) records each game, the Nigerian center did not fail to awe the crowd and kept the Altas faithful something to cheer for every game.
In addition, Bright served as a shoulder to lean on to former Perpetual Help Altas guard Scottie Thompson, as he has given the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel rookie the timely screens and defense for him to knock down smooth baskets from the arc.
Perpetual Help has been a threat to the other NCAA teams since then, but not until the Road-to-Final-Four Playoffs has arrived.
The Altas, who had been rooting for a place in the Final Four, fell short against the NCAA Season 91 Men’s Basketball Champion Letran Knights to cap off their Season 91 campaign.
Thompson, who played his last game as a Perpetualite, was seen crying on the bench, which signaled the Altas crowd to cheer out “MVP! MVP! MVP!” to comfort Scottie.
This has also sealed away Bright Akhuetie’s chance to be in the Final Four on his rookie year.
Now that the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament has commenced, Mr. Bright Side says that it would be different from the previous Season.
“We will bounce back this Season 92”, the Nigerian promised.
Though he has not played on Perpetual Help’s first game against Arellano University due to an injured knee, Akhuetie noted that once he comes back, there is no turning back.
“I will be back on the next game (against Jose Rizal University). Losing will not be an option for us again”, he added, as the Altas lost by five points to the Chiefs to taste their first-ever loss this Season 92.
Sure enough, Akhuetie fulfilled his promise as he returned on court with a bang to give Perpetual Help its first victory at the JRU Heavy Bombers’ expense.
The import scored 19 points on the Altas’ second game, considering he just got back from an injury on the knee.
This Season 92 still would not be an easy ride for Akhuetie as the other teams have gritty imports of their own.
First on the list is Mapua Cardinals’ Season 91 MVP Allwell Oraeme, who is unstoppable as he is too. The second is Lyceum Pirates’ Mike Nzeusseu, who has been showing his beast side to back up Lyceum.
The third is San Beda Red Lions’ Davon Potts, who continues to make noise for San Beda. Fourth is College of Saint Benilde Blazers’ Clement Leutcheu, and last is JRU Heavy Bombers’ Abdel Poutouochi.
Akhuetie has to go on a head-to-head match up with his fellow foreign reinforcements to keep the Altas’ bid for another Final Four opportunity alive.
Will Mr. Bright Side continue to shine bright on Perpetual Help’s succeeding games this Season 92?
That is now the NCAA Basketball fans’ question that can only be answered by Akhuetie’s performances in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Altas will attempt to bag their second win on Thursday, against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags.