Struggling in the first three quarters, Angelo Kouame came alive when it mattered, lifting the Ateneo de Manila University to a 71-70 escape of University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Wednesday afternoon at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Kouame scored the go-ahead tip with 3:40 left that put the Blue Eagles, 68-67. He then emphatically denied Soulemane Chabi Yo’s jumper in the final minute. Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto iced the game at the charity stripe in the waning seconds.
The Ivorian Kouame finished with 11 points, 10 boards, and two blocks. Meanwhile, Ravena topped Ateneo with 17 points — 11 in the second half — to go with 10 rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
“We understood that the game was going to be a really tough game. I feel fortunate we won the game. That’s the kind of game that you can credit the team as much as you want, talk about character, and all of that. But I think that every applaud you give your team, you give the other. That could have gone either way,” said coach Tab Baldwin regarding the game he called a “track meet”. And the match did indeed live up to everyone’s expectations.
Gian Mamuyac also did his damage with 10 points and four rebounds. Meanwhile, Will Navarro had eight points, five rebounds, and five assists in the win to keep the Blue Eagles at the top of the standings at 3-0.
There’s no doubt, though, that UST left a big impression on Ateneo. Baldwin even had a lengthy talk with counterpart Aldin Ayo after the game.
Chabi Yo paced the Growling Tigers in the valiant stand with 25 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Rhenz Abando, Mark Nonoy, and Renzo Subido all had nine in the losing cause.
UST fell to a 2-1 slate.
The grind continues for the Blue Eagles as they take on the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Saturday, September 14. On the other hand, UST looks to bounce back when they square off against the National University Bulldogs on Sunday, September 15. Both games are at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
ADMU 71 — Ravena 17, Kouame 11, Mamuyac 10, Navarro 8, Belangel 6, Maagdenberg 6, Ma. Nieto 5, Go 3, Wong 3, Mi. Nieto 2, Andrade 0, Daves 0, Tio 0.
UST 70 — Chabi Yo 25, Abando 9, Nonoy 9, Subido 9, Huang 6, Cansino 4, Concepcion 4, Ando 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 33-37, 53-56, 71-70.
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