Senator Bong Go has thrown his support for the naturalization of Gilas Pilipinas prospect Angelo Kouame.
In a speech on Tuesday, March 2, Go expressed his intent to be a co-sponsor of the measure granting Filipino citizenship to the Ivorian big man that will enable him to play for the men’s national basketball team in international competitions.
“Mr. President, if I may, I just want to manifest my intent to be a co-sponsor of this measure which will help Philippine basketball,” he said.
Go commended the 6-foot-10 Ateneo center’s unparalleled dedication to play in the Philippines as shown by his solid performance for the Blue Eagles who he helped win two championships in the UAAP and come up with an impressive showing in the 2018 William Jones Cup.
The 46-year-old politician strongly believes that the UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2018 will “definitely bolster our country’s chances in several upcoming tournaments” including the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and the FIBA 2023 World Cup which will be co-hosted by the country with Indonesia and Japan.
But there’s more to Kouame’s naturalization than getting him on board for Gilas, according to Go.
“We would have a new brother that we can proudly call Filipino.”
Filed by Senator Sonny Angara, the bill seeking the naturalization of Kouame was approved by the Senate justice committee chaired by Senator Dick Gordon last Wednesday, Feb. 24, along with the same measure for Spanish footballer Bienvenido Marañon which is authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Both bills passed the House of Representatives on the third and final reading last Feb. 16.