Gilas Pilipinas ‘muscle’ Ange Kouame again in harness

Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized center Angelo Kouame. –FIBA PHOTO

Ange Kouame (left) gives added dimension and a willingness to combine it up beneath the basket. —FIBA PHOTO

He could also be talked about final among the many nation’s naturalized standouts, however that hasn’t given Ange Kouame any purpose to be detached towards the nationwide basketball program.

As an alternative, the Ivory Coast native has at all times made himself out there for the nationwide crew and the 6-foot-10 large man is doing it once more for the squad that may compete within the nineteenth Asian Video games in Hangzhou, China, this weekend.

“I’m actually excited to be a part of this system once more, I’m additionally excited after I bought the decision from coach (Tim Cone) himself,” he instructed the Inquirer throughout one of many apply classes at PhilSports Enviornment in Pasig Metropolis.

“I’m actually comfortable to have the ability to symbolize this nation and play and have enjoyable with the fellows,” the ace out of Ateneo added.

Even with a European membership seeking to safe his companies, Kouame has lengthy behaved like knowledgeable, coaching with Gilas within the Baltic states when it was making ready for the World Cup, after which nonetheless exhibiting up in practices within the buildup for the continental showcase.

The 25-year-old heart is at present laborious at work all through the camp at Encourage Sports activities Academy in Calamba, Laguna, the place the nationwide crew is coaching.

Technically the lone newbie in a squad plagued by execs, Kouame can be raring to show that he can maintain his personal in a area of battle-hardened veterans when the Philippines’ marketing campaign opens towards Bahrain on Sept. 26.

“I feel I’m ready,” he stated of dealing with skilled execs, taller opponents and different naturalized gamers within the regional meet.

“It received’t be the primary time. However I feel I’ll be able to be in that state of affairs as nicely—particularly as this crew’s muscle. Basketball’s a very aggressive sport so we’ll compete towards one another,” he added.

Gilas Pilipinas ‘muscle’ Ange Kouame back in harness

Ange Kouame (left) gives added dimension and a willingness to combine it up beneath the basket. —FIBA PHOTO

Key asset

Kouame’s presence retains the nation’s frontline comparatively tall even after AJ Edu and Kai Sotto each determined to give attention to their professional careers in Japan.

Thrown in with June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and even Mo Tautuaa, the previous UAAP Most Useful Participant ought to be a key asset on each ends of the court docket.

And Cone feels that that’s precisely what the nationwide crew wants because it tries to shoot for a gold medal.

“We’ve bought Mo, Japeth Ange after which June Mar. We’ve bought good dimension,” he stated. “We’re not going to get outsized over there [in the Asian Games]. We’ll have a chance with Center Japanese groups and China with our dimension.” INQ

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