Naturalization sought for Ateneo big man Angelo Kouame
Angelo Kouame slams one home to cap off a dominant Ateneo UAAP victory over UP.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas

Naturalization sought for Ateneo big man Angelo Kouame

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - January 20, 2020 - 5:30pm

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker wants naturalization for Ateneo center Angelo Kouame. 

Rep. Robbie Puno (Cavite) filed House Bill No. 5951, which seeks to grant the Ivorian big man Filipino citizenship owing to his potential contribution to the country's delegation to the 2023 FIBA World Cup. 

This comes after an impressive UAAP Season 82 campaign, wherein the former Rookie of the Year helped the Blue Eagles to a historic 16-0 sweep that saw the team bagging its third straight UAAP men’s basketball title.

FIBA, Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games rules allow only one naturalized player per country.

The last naturalized player fielded by the country was former NBA player Andray Blatche. 

According to Commonwealth Act No. 473, there are six requirements for the naturalization process:

  • Be over 21 years old the day petition is filed
  • Have lived in the Philippines for at least a 10 year continuous period
  • Be of good moral character and in support of the Philippine constitution
  • Possess at least P5,000 in real estate, money or have a lucrative job
  • Have the ability to speak or read English, Spanish or one of the other main languages of the country
  • If the applicant has minor children they must be enrolled in a school recognized by the Bureau of Education.

“We marveled at his performance that helped clinch a 16-0 sweep for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the 82nd Season of the UAAP. Mr. Kouame may have had little knowledge of basketball before he came to our shores, but we cannot deny the immense potential he has shown by now,” Puno said.

“This pool of players would be valuable to our national team because the team would have more naturalized players to field in the case of injuries,” he added. 

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