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SBP formalizes bid for Ange Kouame’s naturalization for Gilas

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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has formally started the naturalization process for Ateneo slotman Ange Kouame to play as Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player.

SBP vice-chairman and Antipolo First District representative Robbie Puno has filed House Bill No. 5951, seeking to grant Philippine citizenship to the Ivorian center.

Kouame, 20, averaged 12.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 1.4 assists this past season as the Blue Eagles completed a perfect run to a third successive UAAP title.

The SBP is seeking to form a pool of naturalization players, giving the national team flexibility in terms of who to tap for specific international tourneys.

Resident Ginebra import Justin Brownlee and former San Miguel reinforcement Chris McCullough were earlier tipped as potential naturalization prospects.