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    Ange Kouame gets Fiba green light to play for Gilas

    Jun 12, 2021

    IT'S a go for Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Ange Kouame for the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.

    The registration of the 6-foot-10 Kouame with the world governing body has been approved, paving the way for him to suit up for the national team in the June 16-20 meet in Clark.

    "This decision is consistent with the whole program because it's a vision to the future," said Gilas Pilipinas Men's Program Director Tab Baldwin.

    "We'll try to accomplish short-term goals while we're really focusing on our long-term objective of forming a Gilas team that can genuinely compete with the Top 10 teams in the world come 2023."

    Kouame's naturalization was made official last May 18 by President Duterte after a three-year period.

    Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al S. Panlilio also expressed elation with the development as the association remains grateful to everyone who worked hard to make it possible.

    "As we've always said, the earlier we see Ange wearing a Gilas jersey for an official FIBA game, the better it would be for our program in the long run," he said.

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    "We're thrilled that he'll get the chance to play in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers here at home and we cannot wait to see him and the rest of the team in action."

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    Not lost on the SBP president was the work extended by various government agencies to fast track the naturalization of Kouame.

    "We thank our allies from the Bureau of Immigration, Department of Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Senate, and Office of the President as it was their swift action that led to this important step in our program," said Panlilio.

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