MANILA, Philippines – The naturalization of Ange Kouame will be the final piece in the Gilas puzzle as far as coach Jong Uichico is concerned.
Already having talented players in all positions save from an internationally competitive center, the 7'0" Kouame will be the perfect fit for the national team.
"Yun lang naman ang kulang ng Pilipina talaga, we have great players from 1 to 4, ang kulang [lang] natin is that center position," said Uichico in Tiebreaker Vods' recent episode of 2OT.
The Ivorian big man recently took the first step in his journey towards becoming a Gilas Pilipinas player after the bill for his naturalization was passed by the House Committee on Justice last Wednesday.
"If there is any position to fill that will really be vacant is that five position," said Uichico.
"Ange Kouame will be able to fill [that position]," he added.
Kouame recently trained with the Gilas Pilipinas training pool before they flew to Manama, Bahrain for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
If Kouame's naturalization comes before February, the Ateneo center will be able to suit up for the national team in the third window of the Asia Cup qualifiers where they might face off with South Korea.
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