Blatche jokes about being ‘half-Filipino,’ says he’s keen to play for PH
MANILA, Philippines—Andray Blatche has been cracking jokes about being “half-Filipino,” and he said he was serious about playing for the Philippine national team, ESPN New York reported Friday(Manila Time).
The Brooklyn Nets’ reserve has been tapped, along with Denver Nuggets’ center JaVale McGee, to help with the Filipinos’ historic campaign in the Fiba World Cup this year.
“I said I’m interested, so there’s a good chance of it happening,” Blatche told ESPN’s Nets beat reporter Mike Mazzeo.
Blatche said he got the idea to play for the Philippines from former teammate McGee, who has long been considered as Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ second naturalized player after the 33-year-old Marcus Douthit.
National team head coach Chot Reyes told INQUIRER.net that they decided to go for Blatche because “McGee is injured so we looked for a backup.”
House bill Nos. 3783 and 3784 have already been filed in the House of Representatives to set Blatche and McGee’s naturalization process in motion. Deadline for submission of the team’s rosters to Fiba is on May 30.
“Blatche will, undoubtedly, be an invaluable asset to the national team,” read the explanatory note of the House Bill filed by Representative Robbie Puno.
“Being only 28 years old, Blatche’s naturalization is also in line with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas’ continuing program of maximizing the eligibility of naturalized players.”