Forgive and forget.
Nigerian Bright Akhuetie and Perpetual Help consultant Nosa Omorogbe have settled their differences that will allow the former to make a much-awaited return from a one-game team suspension as they tackle a fancied San Beda in the 92nd NCAA tournament Final Four tomorrow at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
“Everything is okay now, he will play,” said Omorogbe of Akhuetie.
Omorogbe, also a Nigerian former player who turned to be part of the Las Pinas-based school’s coaching staff, and Akhuetie reportedly had a disagreement during one of their practices that led to the team slapping their best player a one-game suspension.
Because of it, Akhuetie was not able to play against Mapua in a 63-67 defeat Friday that sent Perpetual Help spiralling down to No. 4 and in a Final Four re-match against their nemesis, elimination round No. 1 San Beda.
It’s all water under the bridge now.
Akhuetie brings to the Perpetual Help table a powerful inside force after averaging 18.4 points (third best in the league), 12.3 rebounds (fourth) and 1.7 blocks (fifth).
He and 6-11 Prince Eze, another Nigerian, are expected take advantage of their size advantage over a San Beda team that has gotten smaller and thinner inside with the absence of Cameroonian Donald Tankoua.
“It is one of the advantages that we are looking to take advantage off,” said Omorogbe.
Perpetual Help is also looking to end its streak of losing season to San Beda, which beat the former in their last three Final Four duels from 2012 to 2014.
Interestingly, Omorogbe knows how painful it is to lose to the Lions as he was a member of the team in 2012 and 2013.
“There’s always a first time,” said Omorogbe. “We just need to play as a team and believe on one another.”