Andray Blatche's naturalization passes on second reading in the Senate

The Philippines hopes of making a competitive team in the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Spain in August may be within reach.

This will be made possible as NBA veteran Andray Blatche is now one step closer towards wearing a Philippine jersey after the Senate on Tuesday approved on second reading a measure to confer citizenship on the Brooklyn Nets forward.

The office of Senator Edgardo Angara, the bill’s author, confirmed the news to

The approval is a significant development after Senator Jinggoy Estrada earlier expressed his objection about the measure, but softened his stance on Monday after a hearing.

Senators Angara, Bam Aquino and Allan Peter Cayetano, meanwhile, wanted an assurance that President Noynoy Aquino would sign the bill to complete the process of Blatche’s naturalization.

The bill will still need to be approved on third reading to be passed. Its counterpart measure in the House of Representatives has already been passed last March.

Angara earlier said the Senate is targeting to pass the measure before the June 30 deadline for submitting a 24-man lineup for the FIBA World Cup.

Blatche's Credential

And if Blatche's naturalization will be approved, it is already expected that current naturalized player Marcus Douthit will take a back seat to give way for Blatche.

Blatche is the 49th overall pick of the Washington Wizards in the 2005 NBA Draft.

He played for seven seasons with the Wizards and was a vital cog in its rotation coming off the bench as a primary reliever to the starting center and power forward, respectively.

In the last two seasons, he played for Brooklyn Nets where he he averaged 10.75 points per games.

He was a big part in this year's Playoffs run by the Nets who ultimately loss to two-time defending champion Miami Heat in five games of the East semifinals.

Blatche has a career average of 10.1 ppg. and 5.4 rpg. in nine years of play in the league.

Blatche will be a great addition to the team considering his NBA credentials and his veteran smarts in the league.

He is also a big man who can put the ball on the floor and can cross his opponents over despite his big body.

--- with reports from

Andray Blatche's naturalization passes on second reading in the Senate Andray Blatche's naturalization passes on second reading in the Senate Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 5/20/2014 Rating: 5

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