Antipolo City 1st District Representative, Deputy Speaker Roberto “Robbie” V. Puno welcomes the approval of the measure seeking the naturalization of Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Ivorian center Ange Kouame by the House committee on justice.
“I am thankful that my colleagues in the House of Representatives recognize the potential Mr. Kouame, who gave a stunning performance in the 82nd Season of the UAAP, can bring to our national team as they prepare to compete in the 2023 FIBA World Cup,” said Puno, who is the vice chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“He’s just turning 23 years old before the end of the year, but no one can doubt the immense talent of Mr. Kouame, as shown in the recent 16-0 sweep of the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the recent UAAP season. I am hopeful that he will bring the same level of intensity as a member of Gilas Pilipinas. We just need to provide him with better opportunities to defend the Philippines internationally,” he added.
Kakou Ange Franck Williams Kouame, better known as Ange Kouame, was the first-ever foreign student-athlete to win Rookie of the Year in 2018, the Ivorian center averages 12.5 points, 14 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks.
“It’s a really good opportunity sa akin kasi I wouldn’t have ever expected this. I’m grateful to represent the country and despite the fact that I came from Africa, I’m doing it for my family also,” said Kouame.
Up next will be the approval of Kouame’s naturalization by the House proper, the Senate, and the approval of the president.