Ateneo Blue Eagles def. FEU Tamaraws, 63-46
Ange Kouame, ADMU (14 points, 2/2 3FG, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks)
SPLASH KOUAME?! He seems so comfortable with shooting those open threes, it’s scary. There are things that you have come to expect every time Kouame is on the floor. Points in the paint, rebounds, and blocks would be Ange’s bread and butter. If he consistently knocks these long bombs in the coming games, the other teams should shudder in terror.
Will Navarro, ADMU (4 points, 7 rebounds, +30)
Oh boy. This is the William Navarro that San Beda wanted, and Ateneo patiently waited for. The numbers are not exactly eye-popping, but you can feel his presence when he is on the floor. With a wider, more muscular body, he is able to bang bodies with the other bigs while his naturally long frame allows him to sky for rebounds. He is Ateneo’s most pleasant surprise this season.
Barkley Ebona, FEU (8 points, 8 rebounds)
Barkley Ebona is the big man safety net that FEU has while Patrick Tchuente is still getting his feet wet. He was obviously overmatched against the Ateneo big men, but grabbing eight rebounds against them say a lot about this hard working senior.
- It was a slow day on offense. Watching the first half was as exciting as watching a tooth extraction: cringey and painful. The scoring eventually picked up in the second half, but ending the game with a 32.35 FG% for Ateneo and 29.09 FG% for FEU isn’t exactly great offense.
- Defense does not take days off. This is the fourth game that Ateneo has won on stingy defense. Their shots have been open but are simply not falling. The answer, according to coach Tab, is to be a defensive team. Taking a page from a renowned sportscaster, a key to winning is to ensure the other team actually scores fewer points than you.
- The old third quarter magic is back, at least for this game. For the past three Ateneo games, the team has been building leads in the second quarter, only for the opposing team to chomp on it in the third. In this game, Ateneo scored a total of FIVE points in the second quarter, but unloaded 24 points in the third. Now, if only their open shots start to fall…
- FEU might not be winning now, but their future is secure. Tchuente might be green now (pun maybe intended?) but he will be good with a bit more seasoning. Alforque and Torres are good recruits. Give them time. FEU will be good. They always are.