During his brief stay in the country last February, Kai Sotto got a chance to know Angelo Kouame.
Back then, the 6-foot-10 Kouame’s naturalization was still in congress and had yet to reach the senate.
And during their brief talks, Sotto knew how badly Kouame wanted to become Filipino.
Four months later, the two are set to meet again. This time around, Sotto can call Kouame his compatriot as the latter’s naturalization has been approved.
Sotto cannot help but feel excited to finally form a twin tower combo with Kouame in Gilas.
“Sobrang happy ako na naturalized na si Ange and happy ako for him kasi alam kong gusto niya ‘yun,” said the 7-foot-3 Sotto, who committed himself to play for Gilas in both the Asia Cup and Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers, to Lyn Olavario of News5.
“Excited ako na maka-share ng court kasama siya.”
It is also relieving for Sotto that there will be another big for Gilas.
After the Belgrade OQT, the 19-year-old will immediately head to Australia to train with his club team Adelaide.
Though he has an exciting pro career ahead, Sotto remains focused on the task at hand. After all, he has a chance to finally crack the seniors Gilas team.
“Excited siyempre. First time ko makakalaro sa national team na seniors. Sobrang excited,” said Sotto, who was not able to crack coach Yeng Guiao’s lineup during the fifth window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
“Hindi ako makapaghintay na makasama sa team.”