Angelo Kouame himself admitted that he was ineffective for the Cignal-Ateneo Blue Eagles in Game Two of the 2019 PBA D-League Finals versus the eight-man CEU Scorpions last Tuesday.
The Ivorian center filled the stat sheet with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, an assist, and a steal in the 23 minutes. Unfortunately, he was far from his usual self because of the Scorpions’ defense.
Worse, the Blue Eagles lost, 74-77. They blew their chance to post a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five tiff, which could have put them on the cusp of the title.
And so two days later, Kouame made it a point to redeem himself from that outing. And he did.
In Game Three, Kouame imposed his presence most especially on the defense, racking up a whopping nine blocks along with his 10 points, seven boards, two dimes, and two steals.
“I was really quiet last game and I wanted to be aggressive. That’s why,” said Kouame moments after the win, when asked about the mentality he had that led to the defensive showcase.
Blue Eagles assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, meanwhile, revealed that Kouame was among the players that head coach Tab Baldwin talked with regarding their Game Two performance.
And that talk, apparently, led to the 20-year-old slotman’s defensively-impressive outing.
“He was one of the people Coach Tab talked to, that he was not doing well the things he was supposed to do,” said Arespacochaga.
“So today we’re happy that he bounced back and improved.”
“He told me the defense wasn’t that great last game,” Kouame said.
“He was hoping all of us – not just me, but everybody… So we went back in practice and just fixed some adjustments.”
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