Kouame, Maranon naturalization bills passed on third reading in Senate

Mar 15, 2021
PHOTO: Dante Peralta

PRESIDENT Duterte will now have the final say on the Filipino citizenship of Ange Kouame and Bienve Maranon after the Senate approved their naturalization on third and final reading on Monday.

The Upper House unanimously approved House Bill No. 8632, for the Ivorian Kouame and House Bill No. 8631, for the Spaniard Maranon on 23-0 votes.

Both bills, which breezed through the Senate in just 20 days, can now be transmitted to Malacanang for Duterte to sign into law. The two bills can also be allowed to lapse into law.

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    The swift Senate approval bodes well for Gilas, which needs Kouame in the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in June, the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade come July, and the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia in August.

    “Kouame is primed to make a significant contribution to Philippine basketball. He is ready to play for the national team. More importantly, he is more than willing to represent our country,” Senator Sonny Angara, principal author of Senate Bill 1892, said.

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    “Ange is still very young and his game is still developing. This early we have already seen how good he is playing in the UAAP. He will only improve with his continued training at the hands of our very capable coaching staff and trainers in Gilas Pilipinas,” Angara added.

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      Aside from that, the SBP is looking to have Kouame at its disposal once the country co-hosts the 2023 Fiba World Cup in three years' time.

      Maranon, on the other hand, can provide a huge boost to the country's cause in the AFC Challenge Cup.

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      PHOTO: Dante Peralta
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