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 all the time made himself accessible for the nationwide crew and the 6-foot-10 large man is doing it once more for the squad that can 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 once I obtained the decision from coach (Tim Cone) himself,” he instructed the Inquirer throughout one of many follow periods at PhilSports Enviornment in Pasig Metropolis.
“I’m actually pleased to have the ability to signify this nation and play and have enjoyable with the fellows,” the ace out of Ateneo added.
Even with a European membership trying to safe his companies, Kouame has lengthy behaved like an expert, 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 middle is presently exhausting 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 also be raring to show that he can maintain his personal in a discipline of battle-hardened veterans when the Philippines’ marketing campaign opens in opposition to Bahrain on Sept. 26.
“I feel I’m ready,” he mentioned of dealing with skilled execs, taller opponents and different naturalized gamers within the regional meet.
“It gained’t be the primary time. However I feel I’ll be able to be in that state of affairs as properly—particularly as this crew’s muscle. Basketball’s a very aggressive sport so we’ll compete in opposition to one another,” he added.
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 Worthwhile Participant needs to be a key asset on each ends of the courtroom.
And Cone feels that that’s precisely what the nationwide crew wants because it tries to shoot for a gold medal.
“We’ve obtained Mo, Japeth Ange after which June Mar. We’ve obtained good dimension,” he mentioned. “We’re not going to get outsized over there [in the Asian Games]. We’ll have a possibility with Center Japanese groups and China with our dimension.” INQ
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