MANILA, Philippines — Reigning MVP Ange Kouame continues to ship for Ateneo regardless of having but to completely get well from his knee harm.
The naturalized Gilas Pilipinas heart posted 17 factors, 12 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks as Ateneo earned its second straight win within the UAAP Season 85 males’s basketball event after beating Nationwide College, 77-60, on Wednesday at Philsports Enviornment.
Though he has but to regain his high type after a partial ACL tear he suffered final June, Kouame shouldn’t be letting it have an effect on his eagerness to assist the Blue Eagles.
“I don’t give it some thought. I simply go to the sport, play the sport the way in which I at all times play. If it hurts, it hurts, If it doesn’t, I can go,” he stated.
“It feels good, I’m actually completely satisfied how the staff can work collectively. However (there’s) nonetheless rather a lot to (enhance for me), the wins and particularly protection, too. I feel we’re gonna return tomorrow on what we needs to be doing for the following recreation.”
The 24-year-old large man, who’s enjoying his remaining UAAP season, has been instrumental in Ateneo’s first two wins, averaging 14.5 factors, 13.0 boards, 3.0 blocks, and a pair of.5 assists.
The Blue Eagles coach Tab Baldwin stays affected person on the progress of his 6-foot-10 heart, lauding Kouame for doing greater than anticipated regardless of the harm.
“The knee’s simply not a wholesome knee. That’s a reality of life. There’s no one that may exploit it, as a result of he solely has one gear. It’s all out. I feel he nonetheless is wanting his rhythm, his coordination,” Baldwin stated. “You are taking a 7-foot, 23-, 24-year outdated participant who’s been within the recreation for 4, 5 years, and also you sit him out for 2 months? Man, that’s robust on him. He’s doing greater than I anticipate at this level.”
Baldwin hopes Kouame continues to get well because the lengthy season goes on.
“He makes errors, and a few of these errors most likely wouldn’t have been there if he had been totally energetic for the final 4 months. However he wasn’t, in order that’s what we dwell with, and I like our staff. I like him anchoring the center. I simply hope the knee holds up,” the Kiwi-American coach stated.
Ateneo, which seeks to reclaim the title this season, eyes its third straight win towards fierce rival, La Salle on Sunday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum.