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Report: Nets' Andray Blatche approved for Philippine citizenship

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Blatche will soon be a Philippine citizen.
Blatche will soon be a Philippine citizen. (USATSI)

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Brooklyn Nets big man Andray Blatche was unanimously approved for Philippine citizenship on Monday and will play for the Philippines' national team this summer, according to the Philippine Star:

Committee Report No. 27 on House Bill No. 4084, sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara was approved with 20 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstention.

"Andray Blatche has openly expressed his desire to play for the Philippines. He is in a position, at age 28, to make significant contributions to Philippine basketball and accordingly, eligible for the conferment of the honor of being a Philippine citizen," Angara said.

"Blatche is possibly the best center from the NBA that we can get who is willing to shun more lucrative offers now and in the future just to be part of our national team," stressed Angara, who said that the Brooklyn Nets big man's documents will now be transmitted to the Office of the President for the chief executive's signing.

"Possibly the best center from the NBA that we can get who is willing to shun more lucrative offers." Quite the endorsement. But seriously, Blatche should be a tremendous boost to Gilas Pilipinas on the inside in August's FIBA World Cup. He will immediately become their No. 1 option in the post.

Back in late January, news broke that this was in the works. Blatche claimed to be half-Filipino, via the New York Times' Andrew Keh, to which teammate Joe Johnson said, "He's full of s---," via Newsday's Rod Boone.

Blatche averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for Brooklyn this season, and he plans to opt out of the second year of his contract to become a free agent this offseason.

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