Bill granting Filipino naturalization to Andray Blatche, who is not Filipino, passes first Senate level

Andray Blatche
Andray Blatche
Andray Blatche (AP)

The Philippines Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has passed Senate Bill 2018 without objection, which seeks to grant Brooklyn Nets center and non-Filipino Andray “Young Seymour” Blatche status as a naturalized Filipino citizen and allow him to play for the Philippines National Team, according to news network Rappler.

The bill has to pass two more levels of Senate before it can be “compiled” with House Bill 4084, the congressional bill granting Blatche naturalization, and signed by Philippines president Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s.

Blatche is probably not of Filipino descent.

Every country that participates in the FIBA World Cup is allowed one naturalized player. Teams must submit a 24-man roster to FIBA by June 30th.

More from the report:

Both Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes and current naturalized big man Marcus Douthit believes it will be a doable task since both have talked to Blatche, who plays for the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets.

“In our first conversation (with Blatche) I asked him if he really wants to do this,” recalled Reyes. “He knows that he has to give up the (NBA) offseason and practice (for Gilas).

“My job is to give our team the best representation. We want to play the right way. I don’t think there is another NBA player as willing as Blatche; I feel he’ll boost our chances.”

Rappler — Blatche naturalization bill approved by Senate committee