Something amazing is happening in Philippines as the Senate has passed Senate Bill 2018 that will allow Andray Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets, who most likely isn't of Filipino descent, "naturalization," which will make him a Filipino citizen, ultimately allowing him to play on the Philippines National Basketball Team so he can compete in the FIBA World Cup.
Take a second, let that soak in. Take a breath. Relax. And enjoy it.
From our friend Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game:
The Philippines Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has passed Senate Bill 2018 without objection which seeks to grant Brooklyn Nets center and non-Filipino Andray "Young Seymour" Blatche status as a naturalized Filipino citizen and allow him to play for the Philippines National Team, according to news network Rappler.
There are still steps that need to be taken, but, they have until June 30 to submit the complete 24-man roster, which means they have to get moving -- at least by the standards of which we are accustomed to our government moving.
The bill has to pass two more levels of Senate before it can be "compiled" with House Bill 4084, the congressional bill granting Blatche naturalization, and signed by Philippines president Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino's.
Rappler spoke with the head coach of the Filipino National Team and said that Blatche "knows that he has to give up the NBA offseason" in order to practice with the team. Not sure how that will go over in the Nets' front office, but Blatche is at least aware of what he's getting himself into.
Later, the Coach Chot Reyes tweeted that Blatche has already signed on to play for the national team.
In addition to Blatche, Jorge Gutierrez is expected to play in the World Championshipsfor Mexico. He, of course, doesn't need naturalization. He's a native born Mexican.
- Bill granting Filipino naturalization to Andray Blatche, who is not Filipino, passes first Senate level - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Blatche naturalization bill approved by Senate committee - Levi Verora - Rappler