The marquee match-up in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Stepladder Semifinals between University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines is the showdown between Soulemane Chabi Yo and Bright Akhuetie.
It was a clash between last season’s Most Valuable Player and the man who will dethrone him.
And in the first three quarters of the game, the 6-foot-6 Beninise struggled to contain the 6-foot-8 Nigerian.
“It was a tough match-up,” said Chabi Yo, as Akhuetie shot 6-of-7 from the field during the first 30 minutes of the game.
“I just tried to play my best and follow the system of coach [Aldin Ayo]. I tried not to force any shot because in the last game I was leading in scoring, so the defense will be focused on me. I tried to use all the plays and finish strong.”
And finish strong did the soon-to-be-named MVP.
Chabi Yo dominated in the final frame, scoring 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting clip. He finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, four steals, and two assists.
More importantly, UST won 89-69 to send the series to a do-or-die.
Still, the former Colegio de San Lorenzo big man is not yet content. On Wednesday, he wants to finish UP off.
“We will make sure to go back to the basics — play good defense, follow the instruction of the coach, follow the system, and then make sure we are connected, all the players and the coaches.”
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