UAAP: Chris Koon flashes potential in best game yet for Ateneo

Ateneo's rookie Chris Koon.

Ateneo’s rookie Chris Koon. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Teneo rookie Chris Koon says coach Tab Baldwin’s system continues to bring out his best in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

Koon played his best game to date as the Blue Eagles, scoring nine points after two thirds and adding 34 in Ateneo’s Journey 78-47 with Adamson on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Filipino-American winger of Rolling Hills Prep in California said he’s learned a lot from Ateneo’s basketball program, which has dominated the past three seasons of UAAP.

“It’s so good. I’ve been here for almost two years now but we just started in January as a group. I was able to get so much better with the Tab coach system and being around these guys has helped me a lot when it comes to playing style and how different it is,” said Koon. after turning 3/4 of five rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes and 51 seconds of the game.

Baldwin praised his 6-foot-5 rookie, who has shown his potential in keeping the defending champion unbeaten in three games before his head-to-head fight with teammate La Salle on Saturday.

“Chris played well today and he did things that we really liked about Chris when we first saw him when he was in high school, a young friend,” Baldwin said. “Chris can do a lot of things, he can shoot, he can bounce, he can defend, he handles the ball well for a bigger player. He’s really a defender in a 6-5″ body.

Baldwin is pleased the 20-year-old is getting used to the culture of the Blue Eagles along with his new teammate Gab Gomez, who also contributed to their dazzling win over the Falcons earlier.

“Glad Chris had a really good game. He is still adapting to this culture, to this team and so many players. We went on to say that we didn’t have a long-term accumulation that we liked. So it was nice to see Chris and Gab, who were new to our environment and had good games today,” he said.

Koon, who qualified for five years in the UAAP, is eager to continue to improve in his journey with the Blue Eagles.

“For each game we are just a team that is improving and I can see that. I hope, like the coach said, we treat everything like salt in the water. The next match will be over, that’s the most important thing for us,” he said.


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