MANILA, Philippines–Exceptional circumstances happen to the Ateneo Blue Eagles whenever Ange Kouame asserts his dominance on the floor.
The Blue Eagles rode on the shoulders on Kouame and their magnificent shooting to whip the National University Bulldogs, 77-60, on Wednesday night in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Philsports Arena.
The bruising behemoth barreled his way to 17 points and 12 rebounds while Forthsky Padrigao buried threes during the crucial stretches and finished with 13 points, his efficiency rubbing off to the rest of the Blue Eagles.
“I’m glad we’re 2-0, but there’s still a lot of work to do. There was improvement in offense from our first game, but we have to do a better job defending,’’ said Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin.
Shooting 50 percent from the field, the Blue Eagles nailed 10 threes with Sean Ildefonso and Bryan Andrade getting several good looks from afar that led to kept the Bulldogs chasing them most of the time.
Michael Malonzo led the Bulldogs with 13 points and Jhon Lloyd Clemente added nine in their first defeat of the season following a triumphant season-opener against the UE Warriors.
ATENEO 77 — Kouame 17, Padrigao 13, Ildefonso 12, Ballungay 10, Andrade 9, Koon 6, Lazaro 5, Gomez 3, Daves 2, Chiu 0, Garcia 0, Quitevis 0, Fornilos 0, Lao 0, Ong 0.
NU 60 — Malonzo 13, Clemente 9, Manansala 9, Baclaan 7, Figueroa 6, Yu 4, Galinato 3, Palacielo 3, Minerva 2, John 2, Tulabut 2, Mahinay 0, Padrones 0.
Quarters: 20-15, 38-30, 60-45, 77-60.
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