MVP far from the mind of UAAP 82 Player of the Week Kouame
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 30, 2019 12:06 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
The first round of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament has been, for the most part, as competitive as it can come yet there was one team that stood out from the rest - defending champion Ateneo.
The Blue Eagles came out of the first round unblemished, with their 71-70 win over UST the only threat to their perfect 7-0 record.
In the middle of that perfection was Ateneo’s commandeering center Angelo Kouame who once again showed up for the Blue Eagles in their last two games to become this season’s fourth Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.
Kouame powered Ateneo to a dominant win over UE, 85-68, and then to a convincing victory in their Finals rematch against UP, 89-63.
In those back-to-back games, the Ivorian tower averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, including 8.5 at the offensive end, as well as 5.0 blocks - making a legitimate case for MVP in the process.
After the first round, Kouame is a close second to frontunner Soulemane Chabi Yo of the Growling Tigers in the MVP race with the former with 81.73 Statistical Points (SPs) and the latter having 82.71 SPs.
The 6-foot-10 big man, however, isn't concerning himself with the top individual award as all he’s focused on is helping the Blue Eagles get their third straight title.
“I’m just focused on the game because everybody has to do their job,” he said. “When you do your job, you make the others better.”
“It’s not just for myself. If I want to run for MVP, I’m not playing for the team and I’m playing for myself. I’m just doing my thing the way I always play.”
Kouame edged out teammate Will Navarro, La Salle workhorse Encho Serrano, FEU rookie sniper Xyrus Torres, and UE Senegalese powerhouse Alex Diakhite for the weekly recognition handed out by writers from print and online covering the league.