Chabi Yo holds own vs MVP Akhuetie in UST win over UP
MANILA, Philippines—Soulemane Chabi Yo was just on his second game in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament when he faced his biggest assignment yet against reigning MVP Bright Akhuetie.
The UAAP first timer rose to the challenge and held his own to lead University of Santo Tomas in a 85-69 win over Season 81 runner-up University of the Philippines.
Despite being three inches shorter than the 6-foot-7 Akhuetie, Chabi Yo stood his ground with an 18-point, 18-rebound double-double while his counterpart had 19 points and 16 boards.
Chabi Yo checked all the boxes in his personal matchup against Akhuetie and it all started with his mindset before taking the floor at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.
“My matchup with Akhuetie was good, he’s the MVP, but on the court you cannot look for that, it’s equal opportunity,” said Chabiyo. “When we’re on the court, we don’t care if he’s the MVP.”
Both logged heavy minutes, but the younger Chabi Yo had more gas left in the tank.
UST was in the middle of its game-closing 11-0 run when Chabiyo grabbed the offensive rebound and sent a quick pass to Renzo Subido, who drilled a three-pointer that gave the Growling Tigers an 82-69 lead with 1:22 left.
“You just have to give your best and play with what you know, what the coach taught you,” said Chabiyo. “Don’t be selfish and just play, want it more, and play motivated.”