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Monday, March 4, 2024

Eagles want another big game from Kouame

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With fans still talking about Angelo Kouame’s recent game, the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles fight it out with the University of the East Red Warriors at 2 p.m. today at the Araneta Coliseum.

Kouame took over when the Blue Eagles dominated the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 82-62, last Saturday in their featured game in the 81st University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.

The Blue Eagles’ big man from the Ivory Coast finished with 33 points and 27 rebounds and his huge game came at a time when they are dealing with the absence of Thirdy Ravena and the Nieto twins, Mike and Matt.

“We took advantage of our opportunities. FEU was locking down on our shooters, that is why Ange was freed up. Credit to our guards for looking for him,” said Blue Eagles’ assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

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With Ravena back from a one-game suspension, he is expected to one again share the big load under the boards with Kouame.

But the Blue Eagles will still have to be on their toes with Matt and Mike Nieto still recovering from a case of dengue fever.

For now, the Blue Eagles are sharing the lead at 7-2 with the Adamson Soaring Falcons.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern University, playing without an injured  Prince Orizu, battles the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at p.m.

The Tamaraws are tied with the La Salle Green Archers at 5-4.

Orizu, the Tams’ 6’’10” slotman who hurt his left ankle with 2:59 left in the first quarter of their game against the Blue Eagles, won’t be around with Arvin Tolentino, who is serving a two-game ban.

Without Orizu, FEU will have a headache taking care of the boards with Fighting Maroons’ big man Akhuetie Bright prowling the shaded lanes.

The last time around, Bright had a team-high 28 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks when the UP won over UE, 94-81.

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