THE University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons will have two foreign players practicing with them when they prepare for the coming 80th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
Fighting Maroons’ coach Bo Perasol said this after members of the alumni managed to convince former University of Perperual Help big man Bright Akhuetie to come aboard and join the squad.
“He has committed na. He will take a one-year residency,” said Perasol.
The 6’7” Akhuetie will join Mali big man Ibrahim Outtara in fighting for slots for next season’s roster.
Perasol confirmed that he has already enrolled for the second semester. He is expected to play for the Maroons in season 81.
Akhuetie saw action for two seasons with the Altas in the National Collegiate Athletic Association before he left the school following a reported misunderstanding with the coaching staff.
On the other hand, Outtara is one of three players from Team B being groomed to replace graduating veterans Jett Manuel, Henry Asilum and Dave Moralde.
Cebuano point guard Jun Manzo, according to Perasol, is already a shoo-in with Team A next season.
A third replacement will come from Team B as well.
Perasol added that more changes in the roster are expected this season with UP, which will undergo tryouts in the coming months.
Akhuetie is seen as one of the best foreign student-athletes in collegiate basketball and his presence is expected to have an impact in UP’s bid to reach the Final Four, along with Outtara and Manzo.