Ateneo’s 6-10 Ivorian Angelo Kouame introduces himself vs La Salle

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 12, 2018 08:46 PM
Ateneo’s 6-10 Ivorian introduces himself vs La Salle
Angelo Kouame lifted Ateneo in overtime and onto a thrilling triumph over archrival La Salle.

Ateneo de Manila University has been at the other end of the force down low that was Ben Mbala.

On Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in their rivalry game against De La Salle University in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, the Blue Eagles unleashed their own version of that.

Angelo Kouame, their 6-foot-10 reinforcement from Cote d’ Ivoire, made an impact with a 16-point, 18-rebound double-double to go along with six blocks in their thrilling triumph over the Green Archers in overtime, 81-75.

Kouame made his presence felt when it mattered most, dropping half of his output in the extra period and fueling what proved to be the pivotal push that led Ateneo to a sweep of the elimination round.

For the Ivorian rookie, all that he’s doing is just all about making sure he doesn’t let his teammates down. “I feel good because I’ve been with the team for six months and my teammates always help me. Every time, they’re there for me so I want to give the best I have for them,” he told post-game.

That, he did in overtime, outmuscling the likes of Justine Baltazar, Taane Samuel, and Santi Santillan and doing damage near the rim.

While his size is, without a doubt, his biggest advantage, head coach Tab Baldwin wants his big man to spread his wings in other things. “he’s relying on his size too much. He’s gotta play smaller so that he can be bigger,” the mentor said, never satisfied.

That means that Kouame needs to improve on the three turnovers and just one assist he had as well as extend his range after going 0-for-1 from downtown.

Good thing then that he is nothing but raring and ready to answer his coach’s call. “I gotta get better,” he remarked.

He then continued, “I’m happy we have coach Tab because with coach Tab, you’re gonna learn a lot.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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