MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles got even against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws – and they made sure to do it in a big way.
Despite missing 3 stalwarts – Mike and Matt Nieto to illnesses and Thirdy Ravena to a one-game suspension – the Blue Eagles rolled past the Tamaraws, 82-62, to avenge their first-round loss in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, October 20.
Angelo Kouame took over, dropping a massive double-double of 33 points and 27 rebounds to help the Blue Eagles keep a share of the top spot with Adamson at 7-2.
The career-high outing, which also saw him tallying an incredible 15-of-18 (83%) shooting clip, earned Kouame loud "MVP" chants from the Ateneo fans.
Anton Asistio also chipped in 15 points and 3 assists in just 20 minutes of action for the defending champions.
The third-running Tamaraws, who also missed the services of top scorer Arvin Tolentino, skidded to their second straigh defeat at 5-4.
Tolentino served the first of his two-game suspension.
After a back-and-forth 1st quarter ending in a 16-all deadlock, Ateneo took advantage of a crucial foot injury to FEU star big man Prince Orizu and steamrolled to a 12-0 run to end the half up 12, 34-22.
Kouame made the most of his mismatches after Orizu's injury and tallied an 18-point, 12-rebound line by intermission.
Without Orizu and Tolentino, FEU just couldn't stop the bleeding at the turn of the 3rd quarter and sank to a 23-point hole, 35-58, after a series of open threes and an Adrian Wong bucket at the 3:13 mark of the frame.
Richard Escoto paced the shorthanded Tams with 13 points and 12 boards. Hubert Cani added 13 markers and not much else in the sorry loss.
Orizu was limited to a shade under 7 minutes with 2 points and a board before sustaining the injury.
Ateneo 82 – Kouame 33, Asistio 15, Tio 8, Wong 7, Mamuyac 6, Verano 4, Mendoza 3, Andrade 2, Belangel 2, Go 2, Black 0, Daves 0, Navarro 0.
FEU 62 – Escoto 13, Cani 13, Bienes 8, Parker 7, Comboy 6, Nunag 4, Eboña 3, Stockton 2, Tuffin 2, Orizu 2, Iñigo 2, Gonzales 0, Jopia 0, Ramirez 0.
Quarters: 16-16, 34-22, 62-42, 82-62.