D-League: Kouame cranks up defense in bounce-back win

MANILA, Philippines – After absorbing a loss to the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions, Angelo Kouame knew that his entire mindset had to be on defense coming into the game. 

The Ivorian center tallied 9 blocks to help swing the momentum over to the Cignal-Ateneo team, that was crucial to the Blue Eagles' Game 3 win. 

"I wanted to be present in defense for my teammates," Kouame said. 

Although Kouame was not able to notch double-double status, he was able to chip in 10 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in addition to his monstrous number of blocks for the game.

"I gotta play the way I want to play – I mean the way that the coaches also want me to play," the UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year added. 

Heading into the second half, the Cignal-Ateneo squad was leading by merely 5 points, 32-27.

But with Kouame's dominance inside the paint, the Blue Eagles were able to stretch the lead to as much as 26 points, leading to the lopsided 67-52 scoreline against the Scorpions.

Now that the team is just one win away from the trophy, Kouame knows that there's no room for complacency.

"I feel like they're gonna come to get us, so we gotta be prepared for it." 

Th 2019 PBA D-League Finals Game 4 is scheduled on Tuesday, June 25, 4 pm, at the Ynares Sports Arena. – Renee Ticzon/Rappler.com