Eagles claw Lions, cop Pre-season title
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo leaned on the monster effort of Ivory Coast’s Angelo Kouame as it flattened San Beda, 76-62, last night and claimed its second title in the Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Cup at the Filoil Center in San Juan.
The 6-10 Kouame powered his way to game-highs of 15 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in just 25 minutes to help power the Eagles, the UAAP champions, to their second championship after they won their first seven years back.
Kouame, who will play his first season in the UAAP this year, was also named MVP.
“It was a team effort but he (Kouame) was just huge in this game,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, who is filling in for head coach Tab Baldwin who is currently in Greece for an extended vacation.
Ateneo also ended up with a clean sweep of the tournament after winning all its 12 games.
It helped though that San Beda’s Robert Bolick, one of the Lions’ leaders, sat out the final 18 minutes of the second half after hurting a foot.
Earlier, Far Eastern U bounced back from a forgettable game in the semis as it vented its ire on College of St. Benilde, 78-58, to clinch third place.
The Tams’ effort was a far cry from their embarrassing 38-50 defeat at the hands of Ateneo the day before in a game that earned them the ignominy of tying the league-worst scoring output done by St. Benilde thrice in three different seasons.
In the juniors’ division, Mapua rode on the 30-point effort of Clint Escamis as it turned back San Beda, 78-72, to crown itself back-to-back champion.