House approves Blatche's naturalization for Gilas


Posted at Mar 10 2014 07:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 03:27 AM

Brooklyn Nets’ Andray Blatche. Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Monday approved the naturalization of Brooklyn Nets big man Andray Blatche on third reading.

Rep. Robbie Puno filed the bill seeking Blatche’s naturalization on January 29, saying the 6-foot-11 forward/center will be a major boost to the Philippine national team when they play in the FIBA World Cup in August and September.

“Mr. Blatche, with his exceptional ability in the field of basketball, complemented by his commendable work ethic, will certainly bring pride and honor to our country. As such, he truly deserves to enjoy the full benefits of Philippine citizenship,” Puno said.

The eight-year NBA veteran is currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets with career averages of 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game.

A bill granting Blatche Filipino citizenship, filed by Sen. Sonny Angara, is still pending in the Senate.

Gilas Pilipinas qualified to the FIBA World Cup after a second place finish in the FIBA Asia Championships last August 2013. -- From a report by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News.