With Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche in bid to being a naturalization player for Gilas-Pilipinas, another foreign player showed interest to play for the Philippines.
His name is Brian Butch, the inside-outside operator and reinforcement of the Meralco Bolts.
The 6"10 big man who’d be honored to play for the Philippine men’s basketball team bound for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
Former Candidate for Naturalization
A former candidate for naturalization for the original Smart Gilas, the Meralco import expressed his willingness to undergo naturalization process and challenge Blatche and incumbent Marcus Douthit for the lone spot in the national team.
“To be part of it is something special,I’d be open to it,” Butch said after leading the Bolts to their first win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday when it walloped defending champion Alaska, 85-76.
Butch had talked with current naturalized Filipino Douthit and has heightened his desire as both players have the same agent.
“I’ve talked to Marcus a little bit about how much he enjoys it…I’m excited to play here now.”
The 29-year-old American showed his shooting prowess from the outside against the Alaska Aces on Wednesday as he buried six triples on the way to tallying 27 points on top of 17 boards, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Fans even compared his shooting style to Dallas Mavericks and German's ace Dirk Nowitzki.
“He’s a floor-spacer,” Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio said of the American reinforcement. “He gives a lot of opportunities for other guys to penetrate inside.”
But Butch stressed that he can offer more than that.
“It all depends on who’s guarding me. If they put a big guy on me, I could do what I did today. If they put a smaller guy on me, we read it. The game of basketball is all about reads, all about understanding.”
“And I’m not a guy who’s just going to go one-on-one. I’m a type of guy who’s going to play off my teammates and make the right plays,” added the approachable import, who showed he was not afraid to mix it up inside against the Aces.
“It’s a very physical game, but the biggest thing about it is I’ve been playing physical my whole life, so I’m kinda used to it.”
If his performance against Alaska was already impressive, imagine what he can do the next time as he admitted he was hardly satisfied with his play.
“I expect more from myself. We’ll see what we can do. But the biggest thing is to keep playing hard and do whatever we got to do as a team to continue to win games."
Butch shooting could be a great asset to Gilas considering how lanky the opponents are in the world stage.
--- with reports from Spin.ph
Meralco reinforcement Brian Butch wants to play for Gilas as a naturalized player
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on