Kouame records 9 blocks as Ateneo clamps CEU in Game 3
MANILA, Philippines – Cignal-Ateneo bounced back from a shock loss in Game 2 against the CEU Scorpions with a 67-48 Game 3 drubbing at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday, June 20.
Ivorian big man Ange Kouame flirted with a triple-double in the pivotal win, dropping 10 points, 9 blocks and 7 rebounds to stifle the gutsy seven-man Scorpions.
Season MVP candidate Thirdy Ravena chipped in 12 markers and 8 boards while eventual MVP Isaac Go had 5 points and 5 boards in 14 minutes.
Having learned from CEU's fourth-quarter explosion in their previous loss, Kouame helped set the tone in the 3rd frame of Game 3 with suffocating defense resulting to 6 of his 9 total blocks.
Within this time, Cignal-Ateneo broke away from a 36-33 lead to a 49-37 gap courtesy of a 13-4 run and never looked back.
Not even a 20-minute rain delay due to a leaky roof doused their fire as BJ Andrade fired 5 straight points for the 24-point lead, 63-39, with 6:18 left in regulation.
Kouame then capped off the 16-2 run with a turnaround jumper as Cignal-Ateneo cruised to the easy win down the stretch.
Senegalese big man Malick Diouf led CEU anew with 19 points and 20 rebounds in the losing effort.
Cignal-Ateneo now has a shot at clinching the title in Game 4 on Tuesday, June 25, still at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Cignal-Ateneo 67 – Ravena 12, Kouame 10, Mi. Nieto 9, Ma. Nieto 8, Andrade 5, Go 5, Daves 5, Navarro 4, Belangel 0, Tio 0, Credo 0, Mamuyac 0.
CEU 52 – Diouf 19, Bernabe 9, Guinitaran 8, Sunga 7, Santos 5, Diaz 4, Abastillas 0.
Quarters: 17-13, 32-27, 49-37, 67-52.