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Bright Akhuetie forced to remove metal knee brace as Ateneo raises concern for players

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Tiebreaker Times Bright Akhuetie forced to remove metal knee brace as Ateneo raises concern for players ADMU Basketball News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 81 Tab Baldwin Bright Akhuetie Ateneo Men's Basketball

Game Two of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Finals saw a long delay before tip-off. The staff of the Ateneo Blue Eagles were questioning the knee brace worn by Bright Akhuetie.

Entering the do-or-die tilt for the Fighting Maroons, Akhuetie had a metal knee brace to support his injured left knee.

At first, the league’s doctor allowed the 6-foot-8 Nigerian to sport the device. However, the Blue Eagles’ staff raised concerns, as it is barred by the rules of the International Basketball Federation to do so.

“You’re asking not to play by the rules. You’re making it out as we’re to blame. Know what you’ve done,” Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin told the referees.

FIBA rules clearly state that finger, hand, wrist, elbow or forearm guards, helmets, casts, or braces made of leather, plastic, pliable plastic, metal, or any other hand substance are not allowed to be worn by players as it may cause injury to the other players.

Eventually, the league officials asked Akhuetie to remove the knee brace as the game commenced at around 4:45pm.

Akhuetie sustained a hamstring injury last Saturday.

With 6:31 left in the third quarter and UP trailing 44-50, Ivorian student-athlete Angelo Kouame was boxing for position against Akhuetie. The soon-to-be-named Most Valuable Player fell down, clutching his left knee.

The 6-foot-8 Nigerian had to be subbed out of the game as he grimaced in pain.

He returned with 7:04 left in the game.

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