Angelo Kouame defends case on collision with Bright Akhuetie
Angelo Kouame became a polarizing figure in Game 1.
During the 6:31 mark on the third period, Fellow UP import Bright Akhuetie went down with a knee injury after the Ateneo reinforcer allegedly kneed him.
This action drew negative reactions from the crowd, which is why Kouame had to defend himself at some point.
“That wasn’t intentional,” Kouame stated.
“People can get mad, but it wasn’t intentional. I wanted to go up but he was on my way,” he added.
Despite pleading his case, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year tried to apologize to Akhuetie.
“I apologized to him but he didn’t want to understand. I get it, I get his irritation, and I can’t complain about it,” he said.
“I’m really sorry about that. It’s the game of basketball, anything can happen. I’m really sorry about that if that offended people.”
Although the Season 81 MVP returned from the game during the final frame, Ateneo were still able to get away with a 89-78 victory against UP on Saturday.
However, Kouame was barely himself during the series, as he only tallied seven points and 12 rebounds — which is far from his season averages of 14.4 points and 13.6 rebounds per game.
In addition, the jeers that he received didn’t help him regain his focus at all.
“We’re all players, but I still had to stay focused on the game. It had an effect on me. It had an impact on me, especially right now, and I really feel that,” he explained
Nonetheless, Kouame only wants to move forward from that incident.
“I never thought that it’s gonna happen, but this has already happened and I have to accept that and live with that,” he ended.