The Perpetual Help Altas are on top of Group A in the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup with an unscathed record.
Big man Bright Akhuetie was quick to point out that their familiarity with each other’s strength and teamwork have been their keys to their early success under new coach Nosa Omorogbe.
“We’re all taking the lead, we all do it together, anybody can be the best guy out there, that’s how we are right now,” said Akhuetie, moments after the Altas collected their fourth straight win over Arellano Chiefs, 80-72, on Friday.
Akhuetie also believes they are stronger this year with Gab Daganon and Genmar Ylagan stepping up to take the scoring cudgels for the Altas.
“I think we’re a little bit better than last year, because I don’t have to do much, (with) just a little, we are getting the job done,” said the 6-foot-8 Nigerian import. “We’re better now because most guys stepped up and we have so much role players which is good.”
Perpetual seems to be moving on well with their life after the Aric del Rosario era. The Altas have been so good that they’re not even missing their former leader and triple-double machine Scottie Thompson, who is now with Ginebra in the PBA, as they have beaten 4 formidable collegiate teams now with Jiovani Jalalon-led Chiefs as their current victim.
Akhuetie, last year’s preseason MVP, continues to be dominant despite coming off the bench with the Altas coaching staff giving his fellow import Prince Eze the exposure he needs to grow.
The hulking import still punished the Chiefs, finishing with 19 points, 13 rebounds (5 offensive) and 2 blocks.
Akhuetie, though, downplayed another stellar performance from him as he emphasized that he is a team-player through and through.
“I am not really out there because I want to be the best, I can be the best and my team won’t win,” shared the soft-spoken Akhuetie. “It’s all about getting it done together so it’s not just being the best, but being able to push my teammates to be better.”
Shuffling his duties for the Mighty Sports in the PCBL and Altas, Akhuetie hopes they can sustain their momentum in the summer league, with only the top 4 teams from each group advancing to the knockout round.
“I don’t think we would want to get carried away like that, because if we do, we won’t produce more,” he closed. – By Jason Mercene
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