Andray Blatche to play for Gilas in the Governor's Cup if naturalization pushes through

Seeing an NBA star in a regular PBA game might be very impossible, but with Andray Blatche's naturalization going smoothly, this might be a dream-come-true for Filipino basketball hopefuls.

Blatche might be seeing action for Gilas Pilipinas in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

SBP's Belief

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Renauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios said such is possible as he expressed elation over the “speedy” naturalization process for the Brooklyn Nets big man.

Barrios said he is all for Blatche suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas as early as the Governors Cup after a proposal was made by PBA chairman Mon Segismundo before the league board to allow the national team to play as a guest team in the season-ending Governors Cup.

The former PBA commissioner said he hopes Blatche would be ready and available in time for the season-ending Governors’ Cup if Gilas' guest stint is approved by the board.

“If he is already available, I guess, so that he gets that so-called rhythm,” said Barrios.

Barrios also welcomed the news that bill for the Blatche’s naturalization, filed by Antipolo Rep. Robbie Puno, has been passed on second reading in Congress.

“Maganda ang progress. Sana before mag-break sa Lower (House ma-approve na) para after the break, nasa Senate na," said Barrios.

Even if he doesn't make it in time for the Governors Cup, the speed of his naturalization proceedings enhanced Gilas' hope of having Blatche beefing up the national team in both the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

There are other factors, however, that could prevent Blatche from playing in the Governors Cup. One is that the Nets are doing fine in the second half of the season — now sixth in the Eastern Conference — and are looking to go deep in the NBA playoffs.

Nevertheless, Barrios noted the advantage of Blatche joining the Philippine team very early.

“There is that muscle memory. Kasi kahit we get any combination, hindi mangyayari 'yung what they want to do if they will not be training for a long period of time,” said Barrios.

McGee's Naturalization Cancelled

With JaVale McGee sidelined by injuries and is expected to miss the rest of the NBA season, the Gilas-Pilipinas withdraw its plan to naturalize McGee.

This means that Gilas will now focus only on the naturalization of Blatche.

Blatche's Career

Blatche was taken by the Washington Wizards with their only selection , the 49th pick overall in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Blatche played for the Wizards from 2005-2012.

On September 12, 2012, Blatche was signed by the Brooklyn Nets after the Wizards bought out his contract. 

After Blatche signed with the Nets he decided to wear number 0. "Zero reminds of me how everybody gave up on me," he said.

When Brook Lopez injured his foot, Blatche was given the chance to start in his absence. Without Lopez the Nets struggled with a 2-5 record.

Despite the Nets' struggles without Lopez, Blatche played well, averaging 18.1 points and 8.8 rebounds.

On January 4, 2013, Blatche made his return to the Verizon Center and was playing the Washington Wizards. When Blatche entered that game in the first quarter, he was booed heartily by the fans in attendance. In 19 minutes of game action Andray had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Blatche played in all 82 regular season games during his first season for the Nets. In the season he averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds and set a career high in field goal percentage (51.2%).

On July 11, 2013, Blatche re-signed with the Nets.

Andray Blatche to play for Gilas in the Governor's Cup if naturalization pushes through Andray Blatche to play for Gilas in the Governor's Cup if naturalization pushes through Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 3/06/2014 Rating: 5

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