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Akhuetie expects smarter Perpetual play after Letran meltdown



Behind the stellar play of do-it-all foreign student-athlete, Bright Akhuetie, and reigning MVP, Scottie Thompson, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas are one of the better performing teams in this young NCAA Season. As a matter of fact, the team opened their season with four consecutive wins with victories against the Lyceum Pirates, St. Benilde Blazers, Mapua Cardinals, and the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

However, Perpetual’s hot start finally met its end after getting stupefied by the rampaging Letran Knights, 78-69, last Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

Averaging 24 points on 60 percent shooting, 14 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block prior to their Letran matchup, many expected Akhuetie to post these kind of jaw-dropping numbers effortlessly.

However, knowing the defensive pest that Letran is, Akhuetie was swarmed with a phalanx of double teams throughout the game, which often forced the ball out of his hands. Akhuetie’s presence was hardly felt, as he only managed to come up with just seven points, six rebounds, and two assists in just 16 minutes of action.

“They just wanted it more. We didn’t really play as a team and we didn’t come out here to play,” Akhuetie told Tiebreaker Times moments after coming out of the team’s dugout. “If you don’t respect any team, this is what you get.”

“Well, as far as I am concerned judging from this game. Any team can pick on any team. They actually won against San Beda, won against us and they are [still] undefeated now.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Akhuetie expects smarter Perpetual play after Letran meltdown    Furthermore, Bright observed that his team played Letran’s pace, which led them to commit unforced turnovers and become nervous since they don’t execute their sets well. With a ton of double teams and hard hedges thrown at them, the Altas panicked; forgetting to move the ball around to find the open man.

Knowing that Letran likes to speed things up and hoist shots at will, the Altas definitely fell prey to their disruptive and chaotic defense. “Like I said, some of our guys get nervous when they see double teams. That is not how it is supposed to be. You are supposed to put your head up. Sometimes, when they get the ball, you see me yelling ‘look ahead, look ahead,’” Akhuetie added. “If there is a double team, one man is free, and you have to be smart about it. If you were smart about it, we’ll punish them so many times because we have guys free under the basket. The thing is, we didn’t play smart, and that’s it.”


Now, the Altas can immediately shake off the bad omens of their Letran loss and aim to play smarter basketball as they are set to take on the defending Champion San Beda Red Lions today, 4:00 pm, at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

“We’ll stick on how we really play and I hope we don’t play the same way like this [Letran] game. We just have to go back at it and put ourselves together for the next game,” Akhuetie ended.

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