Angelo Kouame’s naturalization process has cleared another hurdle.
The measure seeking to grant Philippine citizenship to Ivorian Angelo Kouame is now closer to getting a nod from the House of Representatives after the second reading received approval.
Principal author of the bill Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno shared the development.
“I thank my colleagues for the swift approval on the second reading of House Bill No. 8632, and I anticipate its quick passage on the third and final reading shortly. We can say we are definitely much closer to naturalizing yet another star athlete for our national team,” said Puno, who also serves as the vice chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“I am hopeful that Ange Kouame will become a Philippine citizen just in time for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup as well as the 2023 FIBA World Cup.”
House Bill No. 8623 collated all three summaries of the Committee on Justice’s recommendations. Puno’s original bill was House Bill No. 5951.
Koame’s naturalization needs one more reading before it can be passed.
Senate Bill No. 1892, the senate counterpart of the house bill, is still pending.
Kouame moved to the Philippines from the Ivory Coast in West Africa back in 2016. He finished his secondary school at Multiple Intelligence International School.
Puno has been pushing for a pool of naturalized players to be made available for Gilas Pilipinas. He cited FIBA Internal Regulations that state that national basketball teams can only field one player who has acquired the legal nationality of the country by naturalization or by any other means after having reached the age of 16.
It was also Puno who pushed for the naturalization of Marcus Douthit and former NBA player Andray Blatche.