MALICK Diouf proved to be a thorn in the side of Ateneo, this time in the UAAP.
The Senagalese center stepped up with 18 points and 16 rebounds to lift University of the Philippines to an 84-83 win over Ateneo that snapped the Blue Eagles' 39-game UAAP winning streak at the Mall of Asia Arena.
His heroics against the Blue Eagles came nearly three years since Diouf led his former team Centro Escolar University to a 77-74 win over Ateneo Cignal in Game Two of the PBA D-League finals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
During that June 1, 2019 game, Diouf and the Scorpions ended a 10-game winning streak for Ateneo-Cignal, which eventually took the crown.
Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin said Diouf's performance 'cost us.'
“You have to give a lot of credit to Diouf. He was outstanding around the basket,” said Baldwin. “At the end of the day, we let Diouf give a little bit more room. It hurt us. It cost us.”
Diouf held his own in his individual match-up against Ateneo's naturalized player Ange Kouame, who still finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds in the defeat.
Diouf played down the match-up with Kouame.
“When I play, I don’t think about the match-up with Ange. I’m playing against Ateneo. He is a good player. I was playing for the community. When I defend, I defend the players inside the court,” said Diouf.
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