IN the wake of another dominant game by Angelo Kouame, Ateneo assistant Sandy Arespacochaga looks back at the time when they hit the jackpot upon getting the 6-foot-10 big man out of Ivory Coast straight out of high school.
Kouame came out of Multiple Intelligence International School, just right in front of Ateneo back during the time when he was ‘just tall.’
A few months later, he’s already dominating the UAAP with an eye-popping statline of 33 points and 27 rebounds in their 82-62 win over the FEU Tamaraws.
“All the other things just came and then he blossomed under coach Tab. He’s a good developer of talent. I think that’s where he really blossomed you know. At first he’s just tall,” said Arespacochaga.
“Then other aspects of his game improve, you see some of it already. So we’re very happy with his development and we’d like to think of it that he’ll still continue to improve. That’s the mentality of coach Tab, kung anong talents niya, he will continue to improve and he will continue teaching,” he added.
Kouame set the record for the most number of points by a foreign reinforcement in an Ateneo jersey, beating the previous mark set by multi-titled guard Kirk Long who had 22.
But Arespacochaga said that they’ve never really treated Kouame as someone different, nor have they put him on a pedestal and the nice thing about it is the 18-year-old Ivorian never looked at himself as such.
“It’s interesting that you brought up the history of Ateneo with regard to foreign players, it’s good that we have his talent and his ability. He’s a very good student of the game, eager to learn, he’s a very big addition for our team definitely,” Arespacochaga said.
“When you mentioned na foreign player, naisip ko oo nga pala foreign player kasi we think that he’s part of the team and not that someone who stands out,” he added.
“If you can see some of his answers, he’s just doing his job. That’s his attitude, hopefully it remains the same. We’re very happy with his performance today, hopefully he’ll continue to learn.”