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    Ange Kouame relishes duel with Maodo Malick Diouf in D-League Finals

    Jun 24, 2019
    PHOTO: Dante Peralta

    ANGE Kouame relishes the chance to learn from a fellow foreign player in Maodo Malick Diouf as they backstop their respective squads in the 2019 PBA D-League Finals.

    "It’s challenging," said the Ivorian slotman of his duel with his Senegalese counterpart as Cignal-Ateneo moved on the cusp of winning the crown after a 67-52 Game Three win last Thursday over Centro Escolar University.

    "I really like it, the intensity with him, and he’s pushing me to learn also."

    Kouame is averaging 11.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 assist in the finals.

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      But more than his numbers, the 20-year-old bruiser's main concern lies on being a helpful presence for the Blue Eagles whenever he steps on the court.

      "I want to play better for my teammates," he said, sharing that coach Tab Baldwin even talked to him after Cignal-Ateneo's shock 77-74 Game two defeat.

      "Coach told me that the defense wasn’t really that great last game. He was complaining on all of us, not just me, but everybody, so we went back in practice and just fixed and adjusted to improve."

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      With those issues rectified, Kouame and the Blue Eagles aim to finish off the best-of-five series and claim the throne with Game Four set on Tuesday, still at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

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      PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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