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Kouame dominates in extras as Ateneo nips La Salle

Angelo Kouame exploded in overtime to send Ateneo to the quarterfinals undefeated. Francesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines.
By Kevin Estrada

SAN JUAN -- Angelo Kouame made himself huge in overtime as Ateneo ends its Group A campaign in the FilOil-Flying V Premier Cup unbeaten after blowing past archrivals La Salle 81-75 Tuesday evening at the San Juan Arena.

Both teams came back from various deficits to take the game into added time, but the Blue Eagles closed out their tiff with a 6-0 run to take the fight out of the Green Archers.

The Ivorian center exploded with half of his 16 points were made in the extra session to sweep their eliminations with a 9-0 card before flying out to Greece for their training camp.

Kouame also posted a pair of game-highs with 18 rebounds to complete a double-double to go along with six rejections.

Thirdy Ravena led the Blue Eagles with 17 points on a 7/12 shooting.

Leonard Santillan's 19 points went down the drain for La Salle who ended their campaign at 7-2.

After falling behind by four, 7-11 in the opening canto, the regning UAAP champs fired eleven straight to wrest away the lead from their nemesis en route to a six-point lead at the half.

However, La Salle fought back in the third frame to take a one-point lead, 53-52 to set up a wild payoff frame.

Neither of them led by more than six points in which both teams exchanged baskets in the final three minutes of regulation, with Ateneo almost had the game in the bag with 23.5 ticks left when Ravena hurled a step-back trey to lead 70-66.

But La Salle roared back right at the death, with Jollo Go hit an undergoal stab with 0.3 to play to force overtime.

However, Kouame imposed his might in extras, firing six straight points to overturn a 73-75 deficit to sweep the elimination schedule.

ATENEO 81 – Ravena 17, Kouame 16, Go 10, Wong 8, Matt Nieto 6, Mamuyac 5, Verano 5, Mike Nieto 4, Mendoza 3, Belangel 3, Black 2, White 2, Asistio 0, Navarro 0, Maagdenberg 0, Tio 0.

LA SALLE 75 – Santillan 19, Baltazar 16, Melecio 15, Go 8, Samuel 6, Caracut 4, Dyke 3, Manuel 2, Capacio 2, D Lim 0, Bates 0, Manaytay 0.

Quarter Scores: 18-14, 34-28, 52-53, 71-71 (reg.), 81-75 (OT)

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada