Philippines are trying to naturalize two NBA players for FIBA World Cup in Spain, Nuggets forward JaVale McGee and Nets forward Andray Blatche.
Per Philstar, Gilas Pilipinas has got an extra month of training period for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and is now looking at NBA players Javale McGee and Andray Blatche to be put in a pool of naturalized players for use in its long-term program.
The team has until June 30 to name a 24-man roster in the initial submission of lineup. The final 12 will come from this.
Before June 30, Gilas is hoping Congress grants McGee and Blatche their naturalization papers.
“Hopefully before that date so they can still be eligible for the World Cup,” said Reyes.
If ever, McGee and Blatche, former teammates with the Washington Wizards, join Marcus Douthit in the Gilas’ pool.
“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,” said Reyes.
In his bills, 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.”
The Antipolo solon was also behind the effort in 2011 to naturalize Douthit.
“We need to naturalize at least two players who will play at the same time for the Philippine team. This will avoid jeopardizing the entire basketball program in the event of an injury to any of our naturalized players,” said Puno.
According to Netsdaily, Andray Blatche is seriously considering to play for Philipinnes.
Source confirms @drayblatche wants to play for Philippines in this year's FIBA World Cup. He's likely to be granted citizenship.— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) January 30, 2014
If both players will get the passport, just one of them could be used during World Cup under FIBA rules.