UAAP: Chris Koon flashes potential in best game yet for Ateneo | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Chris Koon flashes potential in best game yet for Ateneo

/ 07:04 PM March 31, 2022

Ateneo rookie Chris Koon.

Ateneo rookie Chris Koon. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —Ateneo rookie Chris Koon said coach Tab Baldwin’s system continues to bring the best out of him in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

Koon played his best game so far as a Blue Eagle, scoring nine points off two triples and was plus-34 in Ateneo’s 78-47 rout of Adamson on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

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The Filipino-American winger out of Rolling Hills Prep in California said he’s learning a lot from Ateneo’s basketball program, which dominated the past three UAAP seasons.

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“It’s been good. I’ve been here for almost two years now but we just started in January as a group. I’ve been able to get a lot better with coach Tab’s system and being around these guys helped me a lot when it comes to just the style of play and how different it is,” said Koon after shooting 3-of-5 on top of five rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes and 51 seconds of play.

Baldwin praised his 6-foot-5 rookie, who showed a glimpse of his potential in helping the defending champion stay undefeated in three games ahead of its rivalry battle against fellow leader La Salle on Saturday.

“Chris played well today and he did things that we really liked about Chris when we saw him for the very first time back when he was in high school, a young fellow,” Baldwin said. “Chris can do a lot of things, he can shoot the ball, he can rebound the ball, he can defend, he handles the ball well for a bigger player. He really is a guard in a 6-5 body.”

Baldwin was glad that the 20-year-old is slowly getting used to the Blue Eagles’ culture together with his fellow newcomer Gab Gomez, who was also instrumental in their blowout win against the Falcons earlier.

“Happy that Chris got a really good game under his belt. He’s still settling into the culture, to the team, and a lot of these players. We keep saying we haven’t had a long buildup that we like. So it’s nice to see Chris and Gab who are new to our environment and have good games today,” he said.

Koon, who is eligible for five playing years in the UAAP, is eager to keep on improving as his journey with the Blue Eagles.

“For each game, we’re just improving as a team and I can see that. I’m hoping, like coach said, we take everything with a grain of salt. Next game’s up, that’s the most important thing to us,” he said.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Chris Koon, UAAP, UAAP Season 84

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