If you can’t make the U.S. Olympic basketball team, I guess the easiest thing to is join someone elses.
GMA Network is reporting that Andray Blatche wants to play for the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup.
The Philippines leading newspaper is reporting that Andray Blatche wants to play for that country’s entry in this summer’s FIBA World Cup and the head of the Phillippines Basketball Association has reportedly petitioned the country’s congress to grant him Filipino citizenship.
The team wants to bring both Blatche and Javale McGee to Spain in July.
“We’re in discussion with Javale. However, he’s just found out that he needs to undergo a procedure for his shin injury. With that development, it’s prudent also to choose a backup. Blatche agreed to undergo the naturalization process. He wants to play for the Philippines,” Chot Reyes, the national team coach, told the Philippine Star.
In a television interview Thursday, Reyes said Blatche agreed “right away.” A league source confirmed that Blatche has been approached and wants to play for the Asian nation.
Under FIBA rules, naturalized players can play for a national team if certain deadlines are met.
In arguing for his naturalization bills, the Deputy Speaker of the Philippines Congress Robbie Puno said “naturalizing McGee and Blatche will strengthen the Philippines’ chances in reclaiming its dream as one of the world’s basketball greats during the FIBA World Cup.”