Angelo Kouame came up clutch for Ateneo as the Blue Eagles defeated rivals La Salle Green Archers in overtime, 81-75, in the 12th Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup presented by Chooks-To-Go on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Kouame finished the game with 16 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks for the Blue Eagles, who remained undefeated in the tournament with a 9-0 card.
Ateneo was able to get off to a hot start, establishing a double-digit lead early in the game, 27-14. La Salle was able to trim the lead in the second period as the Green Archers only trailed by six, 34-28, at the half.
La Salle reduced the deficit further down to two, 41-39, midway through the third before eventually grabbing a slim one-point lead, 53-52, at the end of the quarter. The Blue Eagles, however, opened the fourth with a 10-4 run -- capped by a triple from Adrian Wong -- to go up six, 62-56.
A free throw and one-hander from Santi Santillan cut the deficit to three. Then after an empty possession from Ateneo, Jollo Go completed a three-point play to tie the score at 62-all, 3:06 remaining. SJ Belangel only managed a split from the line to give the Blue Eagles a one-point lead, but Santillan made another one-hander to put La Salle on top, 64-63.
Isaac Go went glass on a jumper to push Ateneo ahead, but Manuel scored on a putback as La Salle gained a 66-65 lead, 1:45 left. Thirdy Ravena converted on a jumper at the 1:12 mark to push the Blue Eagles ahead. The Green Archers came up empty on the next play as Ravena hit a three-pointer to give Ateneo a four-point lead, 70-66, 23 seconds to go.
After calling a timeout, La Salle ran a play for Aljun Melecio who knocked down his own triple to inch his team within one, 70-69. Go was fouled on Ateneo's possession with 14 seconds left and went 1-of-2 from the stripe to make it a two-point game. La Salle, however, forced the game into overtime after Jollo Go made a layup off an inbound pass with 0.3 seconds remaining.
La Salle was up by two, 75-73, in the latter part of the extra session before Kouame made three consecutive baskets to seal the victory for Ateneo.