SBP taps Ange Kouame to be part of Gilas naturalized players

The Blue Eagle center from Ivory Coast is turning heads from his breakout season in the UAAP (George Calvelo/ABS-CBN News)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Ateneo Blue Eagle star Ange Kouame has been included in the list of Gilas Pilipinas’ pool of naturalized players together with Justin Brownlee and SMB’s past import, Chris McCullough.

The focal point of the Blue Eagle defense, Kouame’s brilliant UAAP Season 82 drew attention to many basketball clubs overseas and even PBA teams claiming that he is already baked in the oven.

Averaging a staggering 12.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 1.4 assists in their championship season run, Kouame’s breakout year was noticed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and immediately eyed the center for naturalization.

SBP vice-chairman and Antipolo First District representative Robbie Puno then filed the House Bill No. 5951, stating that the Ivorian Center be granted Philippine citizenship.

“We marveled at his performance that helped clinch a 16-0 sweep for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the 82nd Season of the UAAP. Mr. Kouame may have had little knowledge of basketball before he came to our shores, but we cannot deny the immense potential he has shown by now,” said Puno.