SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman Sen. Sonny Angara is hopeful that Ange Kouame can secure his Filipino citizenship in time for the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in February.
Reacting to the news of the Justice Committee of Congress approving House Bill No. 5951 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. "Angelo Kouame loves the Philippines has really put down roots and is thrilled at the prospect of being naturalized."
Angara is the principal author of Senate Bill No. 1892, filed last October 22, which seeks to grant citizenship to the former UAAP Rookie of the Year.
It is currently in its first reading as of November 9 and has been endorsed to the Committee on Rules chaired by Sen. Miguel Zubiri.
The naturalization of Kouame 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.