Altas prepared to play sans suspended Akhuetie in Final 4
With the third-seed hanging in the balance, Perpetual took a huge risk playing without Bright Akhuetie on Friday in its game against Mapua.
Unfortunately, that took a toll on the Altas as they were held without a field goal in the fourth period in the 67-63 defeat.
Head coach Jimwell Gican explained that the move was a decision from the management for a disciplinary infraction.
“Sinuspend kasi ng school si Bright. Kumbaga, disciplinary sanctions imposed by the school kasi may ginawa sya na hindi katanggap-tanggap sa management,” said Gican.
The first-year mentor refused to elaborate but said that the team still doesn’t know when the 19-year-old will return to the squad.
“Hindi pa namin alam kung makakabalik sya next week. Internal kasi yung nangyari kaya depende pa sa management ng school,” he said.
Akhuetie has been averaging 18.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.4 assists in 16 games.
Despite the conundrum, Gican believes that Perpetual can still compete in the playoffs regardless if Akhuetie returns or not.
“Kaya naman namin kahit wala si Bright kasi simpleng laro lang naman ang basketball. Five-on-five lang yan pero iba pa rin kung nandyan sya kasi mas madali kami nakaka-score,” he said.
As the fourth seed in the playoffs, Perpetual is in a twice-to-win disadvantage against the top seed, either Arellano or San Beda.
“Parehong mabigat, pero kakayanin naman namin kung sino man ang makalaban namin,” he said.
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