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Legislation to let Andray Blatche play for Philippines advances

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Blatche is moving closer to Filipino citizenship, which means he could play for the Philippines in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets forward Andray Blatche is one step closer to being eligible to play for the Philippine men's national basketball team, as legislation for the Filipino naturalization of Blatche was approved by the House committee on justice, according to Renee Fopalan of GMA News.

Blatche must now appear before a Philippine consulate and express his intent to become a Filipino citizen. And while the bill has passed the committee level, it still has to go through a second and third reading before possible approval in the senate. After that, the bill could make its way to the president for signing.

Similar legislation was recently filed for both Blatche and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee. Sadly, McGee's naturalization request has been withdrawn because of a broken leg that has kept him out nearly all season. So the dreams of seeing Blatche and McGee on the same team are dead for now. Truly a shame.

If Blatche's Filipino citizenship is approved, he could suit up in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which tips off at the end of August. The Philippines qualified for the World Cup by placing second in the FIBA Asia Championship last year.