The citizenship grant to 6’10 Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles center Angelo Kouame, 23, appears to be in the bag after getting a mighty boost from Sen. Bong Go, as well as other senators.
According to Sen. Go, chairman of the sports committee, this is just in time to get him suited up for the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team in time for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
“The presence of Kouame in Gilas will surely bolster the chances of the Philippine team in upcoming international basketball tournaments,” Go said in co-sponsoring the Kouame naturalization measure in the upper chamber last week.
Last February, the House of Representatives approved its version of the bill granting Filipino citizenship to the Ivorean-born Kouame who has been a mainstay of the Ateneo team for several years and a vital cog in their drive for multiple UAAP seniors men’s basketball crowns.
Kouame’s naturalization, informed sources said, is part of the plan of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to bulk up its roster of players in preparation for the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
He is soon expected to join another Ateneo player, the 7’3 center Kai Sotto, to form a formidable 1-2 punch in the Gilas Pilipinas fold.
Photo: Manila Times