Along with Perpetual’s rise, Prince Eze works his way from support role to top gun
If there was one person within University of Perpetual Help that fully encapsulated the team’s rise from the bottom of the NCAA hierarchy to the upper echelon, it would be center Prince Eze.
The 6-foot-10 big man was the Altas’ diligent soldier in the early part of his career playing behind Bright Akhuetie in his first two years in the league.
Eze was seen as just an extra big man who will play a few minutes as Akhutie took his breather.
Things, however, changed for Eze when Akhutie left Perpetual to play with University of the Philippines in the UAAP.
“When I came here I know what I can do and Bright was playing then so I was just in the support role,” said Eze after the Altas lost to San Beda 83-72 in the Final Four of the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Center.
Eze was already the lone star big man of the Altas in Season 93 but that year ended in disaster for them as they finished with a 4-14 record.
Season 94, though, was a renaissance for the Altas who improved to an 11-7 card and became the fourth seed behind Eze’s MVP-worthy performance.
“I kept on working and I knew I have to step up my usage because it’s been an honor to play in Perpetual,” said Eze who had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks in his final game for the school.
Part of Eze’s MVP play was the trust head coach Frankie Lim gave him. Lim arrived in Perpetual in January and the first person he talked to was Eze.
“When I arrived, he was the first person I talked to and I told him that I need his commitment here,” said Lim in Filipino. “We have to maximize him because he’s 6-for-10 that can rebound, block shots, and can score.”
“When coach Frankie came in I listened and he also listened to me,” said Eze. “Thank God it worked out really well because everybody feels at home, practice feels like you’re going to your family.”