MANILA, Philippines – Taking a cue from Antipolo Rep. Robbie Puno, Sen. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara has filed a bill to push for the naturalization of NBA players Javale McGee and Andray Blatche.
According to Ruby Tayag’s dzMM report, the neophyte senator believes McGee of the Denver Nuggets and Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets will be able to help Gilas Pilipinas in its campaign at the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Cup.
Angara hopes the two players will become naturalized Filipino citizens in time for the FIBA Worlds, which is set to begin on August 30.
Earlier, Puno authored House Bills 3784 and 3783 in an effort to naturalize the two NBA players.
The FIBA Worlds allows each participating country to use one naturalized player, but the solon said they will have to naturalize at least two, in case one of the players gets injured.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan, has emphasized the importance of having a naturalized player for Gilas.
“We all saw what Marcus Douthit did for the Philippine team in FIBA Asia last year. McGee and Blatche can further strengthen Gilas and boost our chances in Spain,” Pangilinan told the Philippine Star.
The 26-year-old McGee is a defensive specialist with the second highest number of blocked shots (193) at the NBA in 2010-2011. He stands 7-feet tall.
The 6-foot-11 Blatche, on the other hand, has an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.2%.
The Gilas team management has until June 30 to submit its final roster of players to FIBA.