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Andray Blatche will play for the Philippines

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by bratna8, Jun 11, 2014.

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  1. bratna8

    bratna8 Member

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  2. bratna8

    bratna8 Member

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    http://pba.inquirer.net/46456/blatche-to-play-with-puso-pinoy-pride

    BLATCHE TO PLAY WITH PUSO & PINOY PRIDE

    All eyes inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum were fixed on the hulking figure in jogging pants, white shirt and red baseball cap when he emerged from the Big Dome tunnel to watch the PBA Governors’ Cup Tuesday doubleheader.

    There he was in the flesh, the guy seen by Filipino basketball fans as a savior, the one on whose shoulders rest the gargantuan task of carrying Gilas Pilipinas in the tough World Cup and Asian Games hardcourt battles late this year.

    Six-foot-eleven center Andray Blatche, the newest national team recruit and naturalized Filipino, was in the house.

    On the final day of his three-day visit to his new homeland, the 27-year-old Syracuse native took time to spoke to the media and showed his gratitude in his new task of being at the forefront of hardcourt wars with PILIPINAS proudly emblazoned across his chest.

    “It’s amazing. It’s truly a blessing to come out here and have a chance to learn a new culture and play the game. People have been super generous and welcoming,” Blatche said.

    The Brooklyn Nets center also added that the decision to accept his naturalization wasn’t really a hard one, saying, “The opportunity to come out here and represent the Philippines, it’s something that you could only wish for. And I’m thankful that I got that opportunity and when they asked me to come, I was excited. I talked with my mom and my close friends and they were behind me 100 percent. I just wanted to be here.”

    “The sport of basketball is huge here. Puso – the heart of the Filipinos for basketball, I love basketball. So we have that similarity. It wasn’t a tough decision.”

    He also joked, “I had to come here and see my family, my cousin Manny Pacquiao. I’m half-Filipino so it made it easy for me to go out here,” eliciting laughs from the sports media.

    Turning serious, Blatche reiterated his gratitude for the men and women who made his naturalization possible.

    “Honestly, I really feel like I owe it to the people that worked very hard to get me here and I respect them. They’ve been more than welcoming, and I can appreciate them for all the hard work they did to get me to the position to play for you all,” he said. “For them, I’ll come out here and work hard, get the wins, and play well. I’m very grateful.”

    Blatche was also impressed by the brand of basketball in the PBA, saying that the short time he had watching his new compatriots play is just reflective of how the nation loves the sport.

    “I was able to watch a couple of minutes and I can see that they perform with a lot of heart, and they’re very physical. They’ve been super aggressive out there and I can tell what kind of basketball they play,” he said.

    The newest addition to the Gilas pool also had the chance to meet his new teammates, chatting with them about their goals in Spain and Korea.

    “I met them at lunch and sat down for 15 to 20 minutes,” Blatche said. “We talked about basketball. We have the same thing in mind, which is to win, to go out there and work together. And I can tell that we’re all on the same page and they welcomed me with open arms.”

    Blatche also said that playing against his fellow NBA players won’t be that different in the international stage, saying, “I’ve been playing against NBA players for the last 10 years of my life, of my career. I don’t think it’s gonna be a hard adjustment for me. I’ve been playing since I was an 18-year-old.”

    He added, “(Nets teammate) Paul Pierce said he’ll come to Spain and watch the games. A couple of my other teammates will also be there representing their countries.”

    Still, the hulking big man won’t take anything lightly, as he is taking some tapes of the Philippines’ games in the FIBA Asia Championship, as well as a Molten ball to get himself accustomed to the changes the FIBA game brings.

    “I’ll watch some tapes to get familiar with the guys and the offense and the defense. I also got some FIBA basketball that I can get adjusted to,” Blatche said.

    SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, who was with Blatche in his PBA visit, also quipped, “He asked for the Molten ball to familiarize himself on his own. That’s how serious he is.”

    Blatche said the ball doesn’t necessarily change the game, but he said, “It’s a little different, but it’s something that the more you shoot, the more you get adjusted to, and get comfortable with.”

    As he braced for his return to the US, Blatche said that he’s going to prepare himself for the upcoming tourneys by working out, and even kidded that he has enlisted his cousin, Manny Pacquiao, to help him do some boxing and running.

    But before he left the country, Blatche promised that he’ll give his all once he dons the blue-and-white Gilas Pilipinas jerseys in Spain and in Korea.

    “I’m going to play my game,” he said. “I’m gonna be an offensive threat, give energy on the floor, create shots for my teammates. I heard we got a lot of shooters in this team. I’ll just play my game and go out there and compete, try as hard to get a win.” (RL)
     
  3. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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  4. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Yeah right, and Ibaka will play for Spain too...
     
  5. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. tested911

    tested911 Member

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    From Wiki Article
    "Blatche officially became a Filipino citizen upon the signing of Republic Act 10636 by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III."

    Wha???? He wanted to become a filpino citizen or he actually has filipino blood?
     
  7. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Watch out Vietnamese men's national basketball team!
     
  8. Philip_Pines

    Philip_Pines Member

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    The Philippines just made him a naturalized citizen, to my knowledge he doesn't have a drop of Filipino blood in him. The Philippines needs to field a competitive team in Spain ,and like other countries, has given citizenships to any NBA player who is interested in playing for them in international competition.
     
  9. Panda23

    Panda23 Member

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    hmm thought he was like caron butler, dude looks a bit asian
     
  10. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    When I think of Blatche, I think of Philippines.
     

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