Unless the president of the Philippines Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, vetoes a bill granting Andray Blatche citizenship, the Nets back-up center will become a dual citizen of the US and Philippines and be eligible for the country's national team in the World Championships this summer.
National Team coach Chot Reyes tweeted out the news this morning...
Blatche bill approved on third reading with affirmative vote of 20-0. Thank you Senate! Thank you Congress!— Chot Reyes (@coachot) May 26, 2014
Under Philippine law, the bill will become law within 30 days if the President does not act on it, meaning if no veto. But if the President signs it within 30 days of submission, it will immediately become a law. President Aquino is expected to sign it.
The bill was timed to meet FIBA's June 30 roster deadline for national teams. Philippines will play the Worlds' first game on the morning of August 30 when they play Croatia, led by Nets draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic in Spain.
In an affidavit filed last week at the Philippines consulate in New York, Blatche stated his intention "to mingle with Filipinos and embrace the customs, traditions and ideals of the Filipino people." He added, "it would be very intriguing to learn how to communicate with the (Filipino) language, however, my focus will be on playing basketball and interacting with my teammates as well as the fans of the Philippines."
- Senate grants Filipino citizenship to NBA center Andray Blatche - Louis Bacani - Philippines Star
- Blatche submits sworn affidavit - Joaquin Henson - Philippines Star
- Andray Blatche granted Filipino citizenship - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Bill Clears Way for Blatche to Play for the Philippines - Andrew Keh - New York Times
Blatche closer to becoming Filipino citizen - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- PHI - Senate gives thumbs-up to Blatche citizenship bill - FIBA