Bright Akhuetie has been as good as advertised.
The University of the Philippines’ Nigerian student-athlete currently leads the Most Valuable Player race to end the first round of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Akhuetie, who is a two-time NCAA Seniors Basketball Mythical Team member, has amassed 77.0 statistical points (SPs).
The 6-foot-7 big man has a total of 110 points, 110 rebounds, 25 assists, six steals, and five blocks so far.
Though the UE Red Warriors finished the round with just a solitary win, Alvin Pasaol is second in the race with 71.57 SPs. He is the league’s leading scorer at 23.71 points per game to go along with 10.14 rebounds and 1.57 steals per game. It would have been a closer race between him and Akhuetie, but Pasaol had a five-point penalty coming from a technical foul.
Ateneo’s big man rookie Angelo Kouame is third in the race with 68.43 SPs, coming from his averages of 12.0 points, 12.43 rebounds, and 3.86 blocks per game.
Completing the top five are La Salle’s Justine Baltazar (64.57) and UP’s Juan Gomez de Liano (60.57).
However, if the league ended right now, Kouame would not make the All-UAAP squad, as only one foreign student-athlete is allowed in the selection. Taking his place would be Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi, who has a total of 57.71 SPs.
For the top rookie race, UST’s CJ Cansino (7) leads over NU’s Dave Ildefonso, as the Growling Tiger has 57.43 SPs while the Bulldog only has 48.86.
Surprisingly, seniors Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo and Paul Desiderio of UP have yet to wow, finishing in 14th in the race with twin totals of 46.23 SPs.
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