Playing without the suspended Thirdy Ravena and Matt and Mike Nieto who were still recovering from Dengue, the rookie center out of Ivory Coast took charge as he finished with 33 points on 15-17 shooting alongside 27 rebounds as they improved to 7-2 and tied Adamson at the top of the standings.
With Prince Orizu out early due to a shin injury, Kouame feasted on the paint, scoring 18 points in the first half as the Blue Eagles started their breakaway.
Kouame was then joined by Tyler Tio and Anton Assistio in the third period as they delivered the knockout blows on the Tamaraws, who dropped to 5-4.
“We’re very happy with the win and also we’re very happy with Ange’s performance. We just had to read the situation and take advantage of the opportunities. FEU was locking down on our shooters that left Ange open for offensive rebounds,” said Ateneo assistant Sandy Arespacochaga.
“Credit goes not only to Ange but for our guards in looking for him in those situations,” he added.
Assistio added 15 points and three assists, connecting on two crucial treys in the third quarter where they built a 23-point lead.
Tyler Tio, Adrian Wong, and Gian Mamuyac also had their moments, combining for 21 points in the win.
Richard Escoto and Hubert Cani paced the Tamaraws with 13 points apiece. As a team, they shot just 29.1 percent on the field.
ATENEO 82 – Kouame 33, Asistio 15, Tio 8, Wong 7, Mamuyac 6, Verano 4, Mendoza 3, Andrade 2, Belangel 2, Go 2, Black 0, Daves 0, Navarro 0.
FEU 62 – Escoto 13, Cani 13, Bienes 8, Parker 7, Comboy 6, Nunag 4, Eboña 3, Stockton 2, Tuffin 2, Orizu 2, Iñigo 2, Gonzales 0, Jopia 0, Ramirez 0.
Quarters: 16-16, 34-22, 62-42, 82-62