Andray Blatche wants to play for Philippines in FIBA World Cup

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Get ready for the Fili-Step!

The Philippines leading newspaper reports that Andray Blatche wants to play for that country's entry in this summer's FIBA World Cup and the head of the Phillippines Basketball Association is petitioned the country's congress to grant him Filipino citizenship.

The team wants to bring both Blatche and his former Wizards teammate Javale McGee to Spain in July.

"We’re in discussion with Javale. However, he’s just found out that he needs to undergo a procedure for his shin injury. With that development, it’s prudent also to choose a backup. Blatche agreed to undergo the naturalization process. He wants to play for the Philippines," Chot Reyes, the national team coach, told the Philippine Star.

In a television interview Thursday, Reyes said Blatche agreed "right away." A league source confirmed that Blatche has been approached and wants to play for the Asian nation.

Under FIBA rules, naturalized players can play for a national team if certain deadlines are met.

In arguing for his naturalization bills, the Deputy Speaker of the Philippines Congress Robbie Puno said "naturalizing McGee and Blatche will strengthen the Philippines’ chances in reclaiming its dream as one of the world’s basketball greats during the FIBA World Cup."

Blatche told reporters at Thursday's practice that he's half Filipino, which no one took seriously, particularly Joe Johnson...

Blatche also said he has adopted a new identity, wanting to be called "Young Seymour," because we all want to "see more of him."

Deron Williams has said there is an outside chance he could play for Team USA, but that it's unlikely. Mirza Teletovic's Bosnian squad is waiting for FIBA to select wild cards this weekend, but there too it's unlikely. Bojan Bogdanovic, the Nets' draft pick, will lead the Croatian national team after starring in FIBA Europe last summer.

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