Altas pin NCAA title hopes on reigning MVP, 2 crack recruits
Perpetual Help likes its title chances in this season’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament with last year’s MVP Scottie Thompson now teaming up with two promising recruits.
With Thompson expected to flash his all-around game again, the Altas hope to see Nigerian big men Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze provide strong low-post games.
“I expect more from them,” Altas coach Aric del Rosario said of the African rookies. “They will be the anchor of this team. We need them to be rock-solid, especially in defense.”
The 6-foot-8 Akhuetie quickly impressed with huge double-double performances in the preseason, where he even bagged the MVP plum in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
Eze likewise proved to be an able 6-foot-11 back-up when the Altas reached the quarterfinals in the Filoil tournament and then bagged the title in the Fr. Martin Collegiate Cup.
Even with the graduation of several key cogs, the Altas also feel optimistic with Thompson sustaining his fine form in the championship runs of Hapee in the PBA D-League and the Gilas Pilipinas cadet team in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
“I hope to help Perpetual Help win an NCAA championship before I graduate,” said Thomspon, who landed in the top 10 of every statistical category during his stellar NCAA stint last year.
Season 91 of the country’s oldest collegiate league unfolds on June 27 with five-time champion San Beda battling Mapua at 1 p.m. and Arellano tangling with Jose Rizal University at 3 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.