MANILA – Lingering questions about his eligibility prevented the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) from including Filipino-American guard Remy Martin into the national team pool for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Martin revealed through social media on Saturday that he received a call from the SBP, informing him that he will not be part of the team that will compete in China in August.
"Just got a call and I will not be representing the Philippines… It was an honor to be mention(ed)… I will always represent, maybe next time!" Martin said in an Instagram story.
The 20-year-old guard also posted a picture of the Philippine flag, saying that he was "hurt" but "will always represent" the Philippines.
SBP President Al Panlilio explained that while the organization obviously wants Martin to be a part of the Gilas Pilipinas program, they remain "constrained by the FIBA ruling that says 'a player, hoping to play as a local must have a local passport before the age of 16.'"
"That is one area that we are trying to ascertain," Panlilio said in a statement provided to ABS-CBN News.
"There is no doubt that Remy's mother, Mary Anne Bagtas Macaspac was born in the Philippines. She has documents to prove that," he further explained. "However, we are waiting for more documents to prove that Remy is eligible to play as a local."
In his second year in Arizona State, Martin averaged 12.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. They lost to Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Martin had been named to Gilas' "20 for 2023" squad last year but has yet to suit up for the Philippines in any tournament.
As it stands, SBP is looking to make sure that there can be no questions about Martin's eligibility before he puts on the Gilas uniform.
"The issue on eligibility will again be raised in the next FIBA eligibility meeting. My position as 2nd VP in the FIBA-ASIA Board gives me an opportunity to push for clarity and reforms on that matter," said Panlilio.
"We are thankful to Remy for his sincere interest to play for our flag and country. We, in the SBP are trying to do everything to make that a reality," he stressed.
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