The House of Representatives in the Philippines has approved Andray Blatche’s naturalization status, but that doesn’t mean Blatche can compete for the Filipino national team just yet.
According to INQUIRER.net, the bill can’t clear the upper house in the Philippines until May, when congress reconvenes. The country has until July 15th to clear necessary requirements and allow Blatche — AKA “Young Seymour” — to participate in the Olympics for the country:
“It’s a tall order but we will try our best,” Angara, Senate Committee chairman on Games, Amusement and Sports, told INQUIRER.net in a text message Wednesday.
Angara filed Senate Bill No. 2108 on February 5 granting Filipino citizenship to American Andray Blatche, who plays center for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, to fortify Gilas Pilipinas’ bid in the World Cup this August.
The House of Representatives had already approved Blactche’s naturalization on third and final reading last Monday but it will undergo yet another review process in the upper house.
“Sen. Koko Pimentel said the Justice Committee can hear it soon but the earliest the Senate as a whole can take it up for second and third readings is in May when Congress returns,” Angara added.
The bill has been referred to the Justice Committee chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Once it passes Senate, the two bills will then be consolidated before being transferred to Malacañang for final clearance and signing.
Blatche is probably not Filipino.