No one knows Angelo Kouame more than the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles.
During Game One of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Finals, Angelo Kouame collided with Bright Akhuetie with 6:31 left in the third canto. Kouame’s left leg caught Akhuetie’s right leg during the fall, which led to the latter hyper-extending his left knee.
Though Akhuetie was able to return in the final frame, UP fans both in the venue and on social media jeered the 20-year-old Ivorian student-athlete. Aside from booing Kouame, they also alleged that the Ateneo rookie did made a dirty play.
“That wasn’t intentional. People can get mad ’cause, yeah, but it wasn’t intentional. I wanted to go up but he was in my way. I didn’t know what really happened,” expressed the rookie,” who had 12 rebounds in Ateneo’s 88-79 win.
“I’m really sorry about that.”
The boos clearly got the better of the 6-foot-10 big man, as he was tentative in the final frame, finishing with just seven points. And it was Thirdy Ravena who made sure to calm Kouame down.
“As a rookie, naiintindihan ko na si Ange. Medyo na-frustrate kasi ‘di niya nasu-shoot yung bola. I know Ange is a selfless guy, and na-frustrate siyang ‘di siya nakakatulong sa team,” shared Ravena, who flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.
“I just told him to relax, enjoy the game.”
Ravena, a fourth-year Blue Eagle, knows Kouame all too well. If he did something wrong, the second generation cager would have no problem confronting his teammate as Akhuetie is a close friend of the Ravena brothers. But this time around, he know Kouame meant no malice.
“It was an accident. Knowing Ange, he’s probably the most gentle foreign student-athlete. ‘Di naman siya pupunta sa game na mananakit.
“Kilala ko si Ange. It happens in basketball, may sinasaktan, may nahuhulog, but yung kay Ange, hindi naman niya sinasadya. It was just part of the game,” opined Ravena.
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