ANGE Kouame set a new PBA D-League record for most offensive boards with 15 in Cignal-Ateneo's 88-66 win over St. Clare College Virtual Reality on Tuesday.
Kouame bested the previous high of 11 from Jay-R Taganas in AMA in 2015. The Ivorian also hauled down 29 total rebounds, tying Taganas for the second-best mark and fell one rebound shy of CEU's Maodo Malick Diouf's 30-rebound outing earlier this season.
But he said it’s the least his concerns.
"Someone told me in the dugout, but I don't look at the records. I just play the game," said Kouame. "Players like LeBron James, they don't look at the numbers until they get the results. So to me, I just focus on the game."
The 6-foot-11 center had to do just that as Cignal-Ateneo found itself down by 18 points, 64-28, early in the third quarter, with coach Tab Baldwin chiding his side on its apparent inability to crash the boards.
"First half, we had eight offensive rebounds primarily because our rebounders were running into the backs of the boxout. I told them we're not trying to avoid the boxouts. So we talked about that at halftime, about trying to avoid boxouts and be a lot more mobile and I think we got some results in the second half from that," the stern mentor said.
The tides soon changed as Kouame bullied his way inside and accounted for bulk of the team's 24 offensive rebounds.
Moreover, he captained the Blue Eagles' fightback as he poured 11 of his 24 points in the third quarter, to go with his five rejections.
Kouame himself acknowledged that Cignal-Ateneo's lackluster approach led to his crew playing catchup for most of the game, and that's exactly what he and his fellow Blue Eagles want to rectify: to treat every situation the same as they stay true to their game.
"It's still the same mindset, just recognizing what's the key to the game, what's wrong and find the solution to improve on," he said. "When we looked at ourselves in the first half, that's not Ateneo. So we had to bounce back and we made it in the second half."
"Moving forward, we have to keep the energy. We'll keep on motivating one another so that everybody can get their mind and their focus on the game."