UAAP: Akhuetie wins Season 81 MVP plum, Kouame named Rookie of the Year

Bright Akhuetie is UAAP MVP (0:54)

UP's Bright Akhuetie was named UAAP Season 81's Most Valuable Player. (0:54)

Bright Akhuetie of the UP Fighting Maroons emerged as the Most Valuable Player of the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament.

Akhuetie officially received the top individual plum before Game 2 of the UAAP finals Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-7 center, who became a key cog in the Fighting Maroons' magical run that ended a 32-year finals drought, delivered an average of 18.9 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game to finish with 82.5 statistical points (SPs).

Alvin Pasaol of the UE Red Warriors (74.5 SPs), Juan Gomez de Liaño of UP (63.8 SPs), Justine Baltazar of the De La Salle Green Archers (61.2 SPs), and Jerrick Ahanmisi of the Adamson Falcons (58.3 SPs) joined Akhuetie in the Mythical Team.

Angelo Kouame of the Ateneo Blue Eagles was named Rookie of the Year with averages of 14.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks. The Ivorian center ended up second in the statistical race with 76.2 SPs, but he did not make it to the Mythical selection due to a league policy that only one foreign student-athlete can be part of the top five players.

Gomez de Liaño also took home the Manulife Player of the Season and Milo Nutri Up "Up Your Galing" awards, while Adamson's Sean Manganti bagged the Appeton Most Improved Player and PS Bankable Player of the Season awards.

In the women's division, Grace Irebu of the UST Growling Tigresses claimed the Most Valuable Player honors with 80.57 SPs highlighted by 18.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per outing.

Completing the Mythical Team are Jack Danielle Animam of the NU Lady Bulldogs (79.71 SPs), Sai Larosa of UST (76.07 SPs), Nathalie Prado of the Adamson Lady Falcons (74.28 SPs), and Clare Castro of the FEU Lady Tamaraws (71.25 SPs).

Tantoy Ferrer of UST was hailed Rookie of the Year with 48.92 SPs.