Kouame on Gilas stint: I super like it
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo’s Ivorian slotman Angelo Kouame is ready to answer the call of Gilas Pilipinas.
The 20-year-old Kouame, who’s being considered for the naturalized player position of Gilas, said it would be an honor to play for the country that’s become his second home.
“To be able to help the Philippines reach a higher ranking internationally, that’s one of my goals,” Kouame said in yesterday’s Power and Play on Radyo Singko.
The 6-foot-10 slotman, a vital cog in the Blue Eagles’ 16-game sweep of the UAAP Season 82, excites pundits as he can join the program on a longer term.
Kouame is also familiar with the system of Gilas project director Tab Baldwin, the Ateneo coach who’s tasked to oversee the Gilas 2023 program.
With Andray Blatche apparently on the way out, basketball officials are looking for foreign-born players who can take over the slot with the 2023 FIBA World Cup coming up.
There’s also a suggestion to create and maintain a pool of naturalized players with the names of PBA imports Justin Brownlee and Chris McCullough thrown in the mix.
Kouame has earned the backing of Rep. Robbie Puno, who has filed House Bill 5951 supporting his Philippine citizenship.
The said bill currently sits at the Committee on Justice.
“I super, super like it,” Kouame said on the prospect of being a naturalized Filipino and serving Gilas. “Hopefully it happens soon.”