After missing out their first game, Bright Akhuetie returned for the sorely depleted University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) Altas and lifted his squad over the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Heavy Bombers, 58-50, in the first round of eliminatios of NCAA Season 92 at the Filoil Flying V center in San Juan, Friday.
Akhuetie, who is recovering from a right knee sprain suatained before the opening of the NCAA, scored 19 points– including a monster reverse dunk in the third quarter– and grabbed eight rebounds for the Altas who are missing the services of key veterans Flash Sadiwa and Jefferey Coronel.
“I’m at 40%.. chamba lang,” a smiling Akhuetie bared.
“Most of my teammates aren’t 100 percent right now so I thought I shouldn’t just sit on the bench,” he added.
The Altas led by as much as 16 points in the first half but a rally, sparked by three three-pointers from Tey Teodoro in the second period, bridged the third period to cut the lead to a single point, 31-30, at the 7:32 mark to keep the game competitive from that point on.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the game, with the score at 49-46, that the Altas pulled away courtesy of eight straight points from Akhuetie.
The 19-year old Nigerian was supported by backup guard Gerald Dizon who stepped up with 12 points and five rebounds as well as Gab Danganon who tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.
For the Bombers, Tey Teodoro was his usual self with 24 points and five rebounds and two assists. He lacked supoort though as none of his teammates scored more than six points.
UPHSD: Akhuetie 19, Dizon 12, Dagangon 10, Ilagan 7, Eze 6, Singontiko 2, Pido 2, Hao 0, Cabiltes 0.
JRU: Teodoro 24, Dela Paz 6, Grospe 6, Lasquety 5, Abdul Wahab 4, Dela Virgen 3, Evardo 2, Poutouochi 0, Pontejos 0, Cruz 0, Mendoza 0, Salaveria 0, Caballero 0.