After the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 5951 that seeks to naturalize Angelo Kouame, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Sen. Sonny Angara is hopeful to see the Ivorian baller for the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in February.

/ 3 December 2020

In accordance with the Justice Committee of Congress approving the bill on Wednesday, Angara tweeted his wish that the naturalization process for the Ivorian center be fast-tracked in the Senate as well.

“Hope we in the Senate can do this before Feb qualifiers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Angara, the principal author of Senate Bill 1892 filed last October 22, is hoping that the 22-year-old, 6-foot-11 Atenean gets his Filipino citizenship by the February window of the FIBA.

Angara cited that since representing the Philippines during the 2018 William Jones Cup, he has wanted to become Filipino even more.

“Angelo Kouame loves the Philippines has really put down roots and is thrilled at the prospect of being naturalized.”

The naturalization of the former UAAP Rookie of the Year also got another backer in the Senate in Sen. Joel Villanueva, a former varsity player.

For Kouame’s naturalization to be made official before the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February, both bills must be approved by both houses and signed into law by President Duterte.

In just two months time, Gilas will face South Korea and Indonesia with Pool A supremacy at stake.

Gilas are 3-0 in the continental meet, notching wins no. 2 and 3 last week after two dominant performances against Thailand.

Kouame also has three more seasons of eligibility with Ateneo.