Ange Kouame (UAAP Media)

By Nikole Javier 

Reigning Most Valuable Player Ange Kouame of Ateneo and University of the Philippines standout Carl Tamayo are expected to lead their respective teams in their quest for a championship run in the UAAP Season 85 which kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. 

With the Blue Eagles and the Fighting Maroons pinned as targets by their collegiate rivals, Kouame and Tamayo received early pressure to bring their squads to another titular showdown.

De La Salle head coach Derrick Pumaren and UST deputy Rodney Santos placed their bets on the collegiate standouts who also both saw action in Gilas uniforms in the previous windows. 

“For me, it really depends kung sino (or) who will perform well this coming season. Maybe Kouame’s gonna be there. But maybe Carl, putting pressure on Carl. I never thought kung sinong (magiging) MVP,” said Pumaren. 

“Probably, Kouame. Of course, if Carl doesn’t have 20 points a game that’s gonna be a season that’s down for him. More pressure for you, buddy,” added Santos. 

Adamson coach Nash Racela said plain and simple that Tamayo is a player to watch when the season begins.

With Kouame missing their training camps in the offseason due to injuries,  Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was firm that his prized big man would be learning his way to the top again.

Tamayo, for his part, was completely unfazed by the pressure put on him early on, and will prioritize the Fighting Maroons’ championship bid to retain the crown. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (