With the country set to compete against world’s finest basketball teams, the Gilas Pilipinas also looks to find the best possible line up by naturalizing Denver Nuggets’ Javale McGee and Brooklyn Nets’ Andray Blatche.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes after his meeting with the PBA board on Thursday revealed that two bills have been filed by Congressman Robbie Puno for the naturalization of McGee and Blatche and they already got the consent of the respective NBA teams of the two big men.
McGee has provided quality play with the Nuggets last year while Blatche is having a rejuvenated career with the Nets averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds a game this season.
Blatche has already expressed his interest to suit up for the Philippines on Thursday (Friday PH time) when he was asked about it by the Brooklyn reporters.
The possible inclusion of McGee or Blatche to Gilas will provide added height and post presence for the national squad frontline made up of Mark Pingris, Ranidel De Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar and another naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
Had the former Washington teammates be available and their naturalization materialized by June 30, Philippine five might include both the 7’0 McGee and 6’11 Blatche to the 24-player pool that will be formed, where the final line up for the World Championship and the Asian Games will be selected.
However, Fiba only permits one naturalized player for every country, thus one of the three bigs could only make the cut for the 12-man roster bound for World Cup and the Asiad.
“We could include both (McGee and Blatche) together with Douthit (in the pool), But only one will be allowed as (our) naturalized player.” Reyes said. (Statement from Spin.ph)