Updated 23:18 PM PHT Tue, January 10, 2017
- Former Perpetual Altas center Bright Akhuetie commits to UP
- UP head coach Bo Perasol confirmed the transfer
- Akhuetie to suit up for the Fighting Maroons in Season 81
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons added a big name to their roster after recruiting former Perpetual Altas big man Bright Akhuetie into the fold.
Akhuetie's transfer was confirmed by UP head coach Bo Perasol in a text message to CNN Philippines.
"Yes, he is committed to play for UP," Perasol said.
The coveted recruit spent the last collegiate season playing for the Perpetual Help Altas in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 92.
Akhuetie helped the Altas barge into the Final Four, but ultimately fell short to eventual champions San Beda.
Though he failed to win the big prize for Perpetual, Akhuetie was selected into the league's Mythical Team.
After the NCAA, Akhuetie's name was floated around as a possible recruit for a number of UAAP teams.
Talks of a potential transfer intensified after the big man visited a training session of UAAP champions La Salle at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last November.
"I told him that his legacy is bringing us to the championship after more than three decades, I think he was challenged with that. That was my pitch to him and that was what I think got him to our program," Perasol said.
When quizzed on why Akhuetie chose UP over the other schools, Perasol believed it was a chance for his new recruit to create history.
"Probably the prospect of getting a legacy of possibly bringing the Maroons to the championship after more than three decades," Perasol bared.
Fans will have to wait until UAAP Season 81 to see Akhuetie in action, but news of the transfer has already gripped the Maroons community.
"He is going to sit down and be part of our training for one year. Hopefully he's going to be part of our team which will compete in Season 81 of the UAAP," Perasol said.
BRIGHTer days ahead. #UPFight— Mikee (@_mikeereyes) January 10, 2017
Bright Akhuetie's move to choose UP over La Salle and Ateneo is a statement decision.— Dino Maragay (@dino_mars) January 10, 2017
Because money isn't everything. #respect
From Perpetual Bright Akhuetie chooses UP over La Salle & Ateneo. What a plot twist!! Wow. He really loves the color maroon, I guess?— Audwin Libot (@owenmla) January 10, 2017
Akhuetie will bolster a Maroons squad looking to improve on a sixth place finish in the recently concluded Season 79 basketball season.