Last September 23, Prince Orizu was extra motivated to face the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons. And it was because he was facing his best friend Bright Akhuetie for the first time in the UAAP.
“Bright is like one of my best friends. We push each other to do our best because he’s a really good player,” confessed the 24-year-old Orizu, who had 15 points on a perfect 7-for-7 clip and seven rebounds in FEU’s 76-74 win over UP.
However, Akhuetie was not able to get the win back, as Orizu was on the sidelines during their second round encounter on Wednesday afternoon. The 6-foot-10 Tamaraw was nursing a sprained left ankle.
Though Akhuetie’s Fighting Maroons were able to pick up a 95-82 win, the 22-year-old wished he could have shared the court with his good pal.
“Oh Big P? I feel bad for him and bad for his team man,” expressed Akhuetie, who had 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks for UP.
“I just wish him a quick recovery so that he can get back this season.”
Moreover, he wished that he would’ve gotten the win back to even their slate.
“He didn’t play so it’s not counted! He didn’t play so I’m sad that I was not able to get the win back,” he quipped.
Still, the leading candidate for Most Valuable Player is hoping to do battle with Orizu one last time in the Final Four.
“If ever, why not? Because we have to get ready and play more basketball.”
Orizu, for his part, was proud that his friend is performing at a high level for UP.
“I just hope I get a chance to get back at him. That’s all I can say,” said Orizu with a grin.
“He played well today. I have to give him credit for that.”