UAAP basketball: Ange Kouame receives MVP award, thanks Ateneo community
MANILA, Philippines — Ange Kouame raised the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball MVP, moments before Finals Game 2 as Ateneo tries to keep its ‘four-peat’ bid alive against University of the Philippines on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Gilas Pilipinas naturalized center became Ateneo’s first UAAP Season MVP since Kiefer Ravena, who won the award in back-to-back seasons 2014 and 2015.
“I just want to say thank you to the Ateneo community. It’s been a long year and you guys have always been there. Thank you also to my teammates for always being there,” said Kouame. “Whatever we do is for the community. Let’s go Ateneo.”
The Blue Eagles seek to force a decider against the Fighting Maroons after losing Game 1, 81-74, in overtime.
Kouame was a runaway MVP winner with 69.214 statistical points after averaging 12.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steal after two rounds in the elimination.
The 6-foot-11 big man led the all-big men mythical five composed of MVP runner up Justine Baltazar of La Salle, who had 63.0 SPs, UP’s Zavier Lucero (62.0) and Carl Tamayo and Green Archers’ rookie Michael Phillips.
Tamayo won the Rookie of the Year after finishing with 57.643 SPs, beating Phillips, who had 54.643 SPs.
The Fighting Maroons’ freshman became the school’s first top rookie since Juan Gomez De Liano won the plum in 2017 and first rookie to be named as Mythical 5 member since Jeron Teng’s rookie season with La Salle in 2012.
The UAAP opted to go for a position-less Mythical 5, unlike in the past seasons where it selected the best player of each position.