It took a special bill, but Andray Blatche will get the opportunity to represent his country in a special kind of way. The Filipino Senate has granted citizenship to Blatche, paving the way for him to represent the Philippines in the World Championships this summer.
According to Filipino Senator Sonny Angara, who sponsored the bill, the documentation will be presented to President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and once he signs it, Blatche’s citizenship will be official.
That is expected to be a formality after the Senate approved the Blatche bill with 20 yes votes, no negative votes and no abstentions.
“Andray Blatche has openly expressed his desire to play for the Philippines,” (Filipino Senator Sonny) Angara said. “He is in a position, at age 28, to make significant contributions to Philippine basketball and accordingly, eligible for the conferment of the honor of being a Philippine citizen.
“Blatche is possibly the best center from the NBA that we can get who is willing to shun more lucrative offers now and in the future just to be part of our national team.”
Blatche will have dual citizenship. He is not of Filipino descent, but joked that he was “half Filipino.”