Akhuetie shines as Altas pull away late from Chiefs

MANILA, Philippines – Bright Akhuetie was near unstoppable in the 4th quarter as he led the University of Perpetual Help Altas past the Arellano Chiefs, 76-66, at the San Juan Arena on Thursday, August 6.

Akhuetie converted 16 of his 31 points in the 10-minute quarter to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, helping his team snap a two-game losing streak and improve their record to 5-2. 

Akhuetie’s co-pilot, reigning NCAA MVP Earl Scottie Thompson, was limited to 11 points but grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out 7 assists in the win. Gabriel Dagangon also played well, registering 11 points. 

Chiefs point guard and NCAA leading assist man Jiovani Jalalon finished with 14 points, but dished out just 3 assists. Allan Enriquez put up 12 markers and 11 boards. Dioncee Holts was limited to just 8 points. 

The game was closer than the final score suggests, as Perpetual was ahead only 64-61 with a few minutes to go in the final period, following a critical 3-ball by Holts and inside basket by Enriquez.

Seeing his team’s 7-point lead in danger of being erased, Akhuetie took matters into his hands by taking the ball inside the paint and scoring on a huge basket.

After Arellano was unable to answer, Akhuetie drew a foul and split his visit to the line. 

After getting another stop, the Altas managed to extend their lead to 8, 69-61. A fastbreak play between Akhuetie and Thompson yielded an easy basket for the reigning MVP with 1:40 to go in the contest.

After the Chiefs managed to trim the lead to 6, Akhuetie converted on a put-back to extend the lead back up to 8, essentially providing the final nail in the coffin.

Jalalon and company fell to 4-3 with the loss.

Perpetual Help will be back in action on Tuesday, August 11, when they take on Emilio Aguinaldo College. Arellano, on the other hand, will be in a finals rematch against San Beda on Thursday, August 13.

Scores:

Perpetual Help (76) - Akhuetie 31, Thompson 11, Dagangon 11, Eze 8, Coronel 7, Bantayan 3, Gallardo 2, Sadiwa 2, Cabiltes 1, Oliveria 0, Dizon 0, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Elopre 0

Arellano (66) - Jalalon 14, Enriquez 12, Nicholls 8, Holts 7, Salado 7, Bangga 6, Cadavis 6, Capara 2, Gumaru 2, Ortega 2, Meca 0, Ongolo 0, De Guzman 0, Tano 0

Quarter scores: 18-23, 32-36, 54-52, 76-66

Rappler.com