Kouame closer to naturalization
Ivorian Angelo Kouame
STAR/ File

Kouame closer to naturalization

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The path for Ivorian Angelo Kouame to becoming a Filipino naturalized player drew a big boost after the House of Representatives approved the proposed bill granting the Ateneo standout citizenship.

The bill seeking to naturalize the 23-year-old Kouame, or House Bill 5951, got the nod of the House Committee on Justice yesterday, sending it for the next few important steps for it to be enacted into a law.

It was the first of the many steps needed before it gets the final stamp of approval. But it sure was a significant one since Kouame, who helped the Eagles to a 16-0 UAAP sweep two years ago, would be a vital piece of the Gilas Pilipinas puzzle in future international campaigns.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio lauded the move and thanked Congress for the support.

“Our Gilas Pilipinas men’s team was able to jumpstart our preparations for 2023 with their inspired performance in Manama, Bahrain in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and receiving this good news from the House of Representatives gives our program even more momentum,” said Panlilio.

“We remain hopeful that Kouame will be able to play as a Filipino at the soonest time possible,” added Panlilio.

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