Tab Baldwin praises Ange Kouame, Gilas' defense after Asian Games gold | Inquirer Sports

Tab Baldwin praises Ange Kouame, Gilas’ defense after Asian Games gold

/ 07:44 PM October 07, 2023

Angelo Kouame #34 of Gilas Pilipinas shoots the ball in the Basketball - Men's Gold Medal Game between Philippines and Jordan on day 13 of the 19th Asian Games at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium on October 6, 2023 i

Angelo Kouame #34 of Gilas Pilipinas shoots the ball during the Asian Games men’s basketball gold medal game between Philippines and Jordan  on October 6, 2023 in Hangzhou, China. (Photo by Lu Lin/CHINASPORTS/VCG

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin commended his former player Ange Kouame and Gilas Pilipinas after they won the Asian Games gold for the first time in 61 years.

The naturalized center stepped up when it mattered most for the Philippines as he dropped 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, five steals, and two blocks to beat Jordan, 70-60, in the gold medal match on Friday in Hangzhou, China.

“Ange Kouame getting the minutes that he got and controlling the paint against Ahmad Al Dwairi,” said Baldwin after Ateneo’s 74-71 loss to Adamson in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I’ve known [Al Dwairi] since he was a 17-year-old kid when I was coaching Jordan. He’s a hell of a basketball player.

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“Just so happy for the [Gilas]. It’s not up to me to analyze that, I just admire the defense as a coach,” he added.

The four-time UAAP champion coach praised the defense of Gilas, including Chis Newsome’s lockdown job on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

“That game is all about toughness, defense. Tim Cone did an outstanding job manipulating that lineup. And, Chris Newsome’s job on Rondae was otherworldly,” Baldwin said.

The former Gilas coach also lauded Tim Cone, who took over the program two weeks before the Asiad but still ruled the continental meet for the first time since 1962.

“I’m very very happy for Tim and the staff and all the players and obviously very happy for the Filipino public. This is a great day in basketball in this country and it should be treasured. I think, stop analyzing. Just enjoy. This is a great moment. Gold medal in that competition,” Baldwin said.

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TAGS: Ange Kouame, Gilas Pilipinas, Tab Baldwin

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