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2:31 pm on 5 August 2022, Friday
Ange Kouame doubled down on his commitment to the national cage program.
“At the end of the day, it’s something that I chose. And I love my job, too,” he said during an Ateneo event on Thursday.
“No matter what is going to happen, I’m still going to represent [the Philippines]; I’m still going to be present for the national team,” he added.
But he also was open with his plans for his future.
“After this (next UAAP) season, I have plans to be overseas,” the reigning league Most Valuable Player said. “We’ll never know how things will go. It depends on how things go.”
Kouame’s role in Gilas has slowly eroded after the changing of hands. A Tab Baldwin guy, his participation in the national team’s campaigns was also reduced due to a partial ligament tear he suffered during the summer.
Adding to that is Jordan Clarkson’s looming return to Gilas. The Utah Jazz guard, also a winner of the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year award, will trigger a redundancy in the naturalized player spot.
Clarkson has yet to be cleared as a local by Fiba and remains to be classified as a naturalized player.
The basketball body allows teams to field a single naturalized player for its events, including the World Cup, which the Philippines hosts next year with Indonesia and Japan.