Senator Sonny Angara, the chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, has filed a bill to hasten Ivorian Angelo Kouame’s naturalization.
The youthful lawmaker has filed Senate Bill 1892 last Thursday, which endorses the 20-year-old’s Filipino citizenship.
And for Angara, having the 6-foot-11 Atenean in Gilas’ pool will help during the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“We have seen what Kouame has accomplished as a member of the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the past three years, and his game continues to develop,” said the 48-year-old senator, who had his basic education at Jesuit school Xavier.
“We have not seen the full potential of Kouame yet, and his desire to continue developing his game here in the Philippines is something that is worth supporting.”
Early in the year, Rep. Robbie Puno also endorsed Kouame’s naturalization in the House of Representatives.
Kouame has also said that he has decided to live in the country, which was lauded by the lawmakers.
“Ange has also shown a strong desire to continue living in the Philippines, which has been his home since 2016. I have no doubt he will provide an invaluable contribution to Philippine hoops for many years to come,” said Angara.
With this, it looks like Kouame’s naturalization will make it when the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers opens shop next month in Bahrain.