MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang on Wednesday confirmed that President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act 10636, granting Filipino citizenship to Brooklyn Nets center and Gilas Pilipinas recruit Andray Blatche.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes broke the news on Wednesday afternoon, which was subsequently confirmed by Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
The Philippine Senate last month granted Filipino citizenship to Blatche. Aquino’s signature Wednesday made his citizenship official.
Blatche is thus now sure to join the Philippine national basketball team in their campaign in the FIBA World Cup in August.
He will be the second naturalized player in the Gilas pool, along with Marcus Douthit, who helped the team seal a trip to the FIBA World Cup with a silver-medal finish in the FIBA Asia Championships last year.
The American-born Blatche had just wrapped up a brief visit to Manila, which saw him thank the Senate, get to know some of his Gilas Pilipinas teammates, and watch a PBA game. -- With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News