FOR Gilas Pilipinas skipper Kiefer Ravena, Ateneo center Ange Kouame can promptly make an impact for the Philippine five.
It also helps the Ivory Coast native is fast adapting on the Filipino way of life.
“Most definitely, I agree with that (Kouame is a perfect fit for Gilas). Actually, kaya din ako talaga nakatutok kay Ange kasi alam ko he’s going to be part of the future. . . (part) of the plans of our national team,” Ravena said on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.
“Si Ange, ang nakakatuwa talaga sa kanya, even before he gets naturalized, parang pilipinong-Pilipino na rin siya. He’s more Filipino than anybody else thinks. Nagtatagalog na, talagang marunong ng makisama,” he added.
The Senate committee on justice approved Senate Bill No. 1892 granting Filipino citizenship to the 6-foot-10 Kouame last Feb. 23.
Last Feb. 16, the House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8632 granting Filipino citizenship to Kouame.
President Duterte has the final say on the naturalization bid of Kouame.
Ravena is convinced Kouame, 23, and the likes of US-based big men Kai Sotto and AJ Edu can form a terrorizing frontline for Gilas.
“He’s going to be a good addition to the team especially wala pa tayong Filipino na 6-foot-10, very agile, can play outside and inside,” Ravena said.
“Bata pa si Ange tapos iyong future line-up na gusto mo, with Ange, Kai (Sotto), AJ Edu, those guys who will fill the frontcourt, ang laki noon.”
Ravena is hoping Kouame gets naturalized in time for the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament on June 29 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.
“Hopefully, I agree. Sana done deal na talaga (Kouame’s naturalization),” he said.
“Para pagdating ng June, malaking bagay na makasama silang lahat, ‘di ba for the Olympic qualifiers.”