Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Andray Blatche has committed 100 percent to Gilas Pilipinas in its FIBA Asia championship campaign this year. The naturalized Filipino is expected to be in Manila near the end of the PBA Governors’ Cup to join the team’s practices ahead of the Olympic qualifier. “We expect him to be with us. I’ve spoken to Andray and he’s told me he’s committed and will be 100 percent with the team,” Gilas coach Tab Baldwin told Richard Dy in a report to sports website Spin. “I want to get him here virtually before we go to the (training) camp, or maybe a little bit before that. Hopefully, before the end of the third conference,” Baldwin added.
David ‘Dubi’ Pick: Ex-NBA draftee Hamady N’Diaye is Philippines bound. Joining Kia Carnival, said agent Sheryl Reyes.
MR: I know the Philippines is pretty NBA crazy. What was their reaction to seeing you, the campers? Nerlens Noel: “They were definitely showing some shock. They were definitely surprised, and you do see how much they pay attention to NBA basketball and keep up with it, so that was great to see.”
David ‘Dubi’ Pick: Globetrotter Derrick Caracter has left the Philippines. He averaged 20.3 points and 14.3 boards per game.
Despite Fil-Am Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson expressing interest in playing for the national team, head coach Tab Baldwin admitted Gilas Pilipinas is not likely to naturalize guards in the near future, stating that big men are still the priority. “The difficult thing for Jordan is traditionally the Philippines needs a big man in a naturalized role,” he said Sunday, March 22 following Talk ’N Text’s twice-to-beat clinching win over Alaska in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. “If there ever came a time that we needed a guard, it’s great to know that Jordan is available. He’s easy to naturalize.”
Brian Mahoney: Missed this much earlier today, but FIBA said 2019 Basketball World Cup will be played in Asia. China and the Philippines bidding to host.
Emiliano Carchia: Breaking News: FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019 will be played in Asia. In China or in the Philippines
Daniel Orton signed in the Philippines with Purefoods Star Hotshots. The big man comes from Chinese league where he was playing with Sichuan.
Former NBA small forward Terrence Williams, after a short-lived stint that included just one practice, has been released from Israeli side Maccabi Ashdod, sources told Basketball Insiders. According to sources, Williams, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, is in discussions for a new deal with clubs from Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In mid-January, Williams signed a no-cut four-month offer sheet worth $68,000 in Ashdod and was immediately dubbed one of the most talented players in the Middle East. The problem was, the coach that initially lured Williams overseas had gotten fired.
Ronald Roberts signed a deal to play in the Philippines with San Miguel Beerman, according to sources. The rookie comes from the Santa Cruz Warriors where he was averaging 29.5 points, 13.5 points and 2.5 assists per game. Marc Stein was the first to report about a deal in the Philippines.
Shams Charania: Forward Josh Davis is leaving the NBA D-League’s Austin, signing a contract with Meralco Bolts in the Philippines, source tells RealGM.
The Golden State Warriors are hosting Filipino Heritage Night, presented by Cache Creek Casino Resort, on Friday, November 21 against the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena (7:30 p.m.), the team announced today. A portion of the proceeds from each Filipino Heritage Night ticket sold will be donated back to support local Filipino organizations throughout the Bay Area.
Eddy Curry and Allen Iverson are in the Philippines with the BallUp Streetballers. Curry, who turns 32 in a month, has been out of the NBA since 2012, but it’s good to see he’s keeping with it. (Curry won a title in Miami in 2012 despite not playing in the playoffs. [@ompongski]
Asian Games rules state that each natualized player must have at least three year of residency in the country that gave him citizenship. Blatche doesn’t have it. Philippines will replace him with Marcus Douthit.
Andray Blatche has been a citizen of an Asian country for four months. Since then, he’s lead his new country, the Philippines to remarkable basketball performances at the FIBA World Cup. He’s become a national hero in the Philippines. But the International Olympic Committe of Asia has different views about Blatche disqualifying him from the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
It only took three days for Robin Lopez to fall in love with the Philippines, so much so that the American NBA center has presented himself as another naturalization candidate for the country’s basketball team. “If the whole Andray Blatche thing doesn’t work out, I’m here for Gilas,” Lopez said on Thursday after conducting a training camp organized by Gatorade and NBA Philippines at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. “I don’t wish any harm to come to Dray because obviously he’s played his heart out for that team and he’s a great fit,” the Portland Trail Blazer said, referring to Blatche, who reinforced Gilas as a naturalized Filipino in the recent Fiba World Cup.
“We all knew [the baggage] was there, but it was a long time ago and we didn’t want to judge Andray by what happened, but on his performance and his attitude and his committment. I was really happy with his approach to joining a team on such short notice and really fighting out there with the rest of us.”
Blatche was not just a hit on the court at the World Cup, but also with his teammates, says team capatain Jimmy Alapag. “The type of relationships he built with the guys on the team in one month and a half and the effort in games and practices really said a lot about Andray,” Alapag told HoopsHype. “We were on the road together for about a month. That helped a lot to build that camaraderie and get to know Andray better. He was committed to the program from Day 1 and I think it showed.”
11 Sep 14
When asked what made him agree to become a naturalized Filipino, Blatche replied, “When I arrived in Manila and saw how I was treated, and the way people are, just made my decision easy. It was a no brainer. The people were so generous. There was no way I could say no.”
Moments after the Philippines won its first FIBA World Cup game in 40 years, naturalized player Andray Blatche told Yahoo Philippines Sports that he wants to return to the country to thank the Filipino people for the tremendous support Gilas received. “The support we got from the Philippines and right here in Spain is more than enough for us to work so hard for this win. I love it. I can’t wait to get back to Manila to give my thanks,” said Blatche.
03 Sep 14
Andray Blatche ended his first game at FIBA World Cup with Philippines National Team with 28 points and 12 rebounds. “Unfortunately we lost today but today’s game confirms how much I trust my teammates. We fought until the end against a much stronger opponent and we had also the final shot to win it. I felt good, we must play again like today without being afraid of our opponents. In addition to points and rebounds my task is also to give confidence to my teammates. I am very optimistic for the next games, Philippines will continue to impress as today and we want to make out great fans happier than today”, said Blatche.
In Miami, I asked Blatche if he felt pressure representing the Philippines, a country that’s nearly as pious in its love for basketball as in its devotion to the Catholic church. “I don’t feel like I have no pressure on me,” he said, but he did feel a kinship with Filipinos’ passion for the game. “It’s like everybody in the Philippines — they breathe, sleep, and eat basketball. Guys play in flip-flops or they play in floods. I can’t imagine there not being basketball over there.”
Pryor told me it took only a couple of phone calls to reach Blatche and deliver the Philippines’ pitch. Pryor, Reyes, and Blatche have all declined to reveal the exact amount Blatche signed for, but Bryant and Durant each reportedly received $400,000 to participate in the 2011 lockout exhibitions and Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that some NBA players who flew to Manila for a two-day event in late July earned upward of $150,000.
Gilas reached out to Blatche through Duke Pryor, an Indianapolis-based consultant whose extensive basketball Rolodex allows him to serve as a fixer for businesses or, in this case, national basketball teams that are seeking the services of NBA talent. Pryor, whose connections come from a decade spent mentoring elite high school players, many of whom now play in the NBA, comes across as a minor World Wide Wes–style sports power broker. He helped bring Bryant back to Manila in August 2013 for an appearance on behalf of Lenovo laptops, and SBP hired him to act as its emissary in acquiring Blatche.
The answer is less zany than you’d expect. The Philippines chose to naturalize Blatche so he could represent them in international basketball competitions, beginning with the World Cup, but also — they hope — the 2014 Asian Games and the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, which will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympics. Naturalizing players is common in international basketball. FIBA allows teams to have one such player on their active rosters during tournaments, and several other teams at the World Cup will feature nonnative citizens.
“Coming in, I had my doubts about Andray,” Reyes told me. “I thought he would be always away from us, but he’s actually thrown himself into the process. When people saw that he was a legitimate NBA player who was willing to be just one of the guys … there was a palpable sigh of relief.”
“We said, we’ll take a risk,” Reyes said about the decision to add Blatche. “We may not be sure about the other parts of his personality, but at least we’re sure about his athletic ability. … In my mind, we could assimilate anyone as long as that person is open. Working with imports, bringing them from the cold into a team — we have a lot of experience there.”
Local media this week quoted Pacquiao saying he intended to speak to the 34-year-old forward about joining the expansion team. “He’s okay. He’s my friend,” The Philippine Star quoted Pacquiao as saying of World Peace, whom he first met in Los Angeles in 2009 ahead of his fight against Miguel Cotto. “We need a good import,” he said. “If we get him that would be nice.”
Manny Pacquiao has expressed interest in recruiting former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace to the Filipino boxing champion’s newest venture — professional basketball. Pacquiao has become playing coach of the newly-formed KIA Sorentos in the Philippine Basketball Association, adding to his other careers as a world champion boxer and local congressman.
Gilas Pilipinas lost to FIBA Africa Champions Angola, 83-74. Andray Blatche with 33 pts and 17 rebs.
Newcomers Andray Blatche and Paul Lee will join the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup starting on August 30. Philippine coach Chot Reyes made the announcement on Monday on his Twitter account. Blatche, who spent this past season with the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA before acquiring Filipino citizenship, will take the place of another naturalized player Marcus Douthit in the lineup.
Jared Dillinger the defensive-minded Meralco off-guard will take the place of Fonacier in the team while Andray Blatche the Brooklyn Net in the National Basketball Association will be the Philippines’ naturalized player in Inchon South Korea. Blatche who can more or less offset Iranian center Hamed Haddadi in Korea was naturalized less than two months ago and has in fact been with the Philippine team for the last three weeks counting their rigorous two-week training stint in Miami.
Blatche is under contract with the Philippine national team for the 2014 FIBA World Cup and up until the 2014 Asian Games. Barring any unforeseen developments, Blatche should be a go in Spain, but his presence in Incheon may not be as guaranteed. (RELATED: Andray Blatche’s journey from New York to Gilas Pilipinas) It doesn’t really have anything to do with his not having an NBA team yet. Someone like him has a fair chance of landing a contract, especially if he performs well for Gilas.
Gilas Pilipinas had its first official practice session Saturday in Miami, the start of a rigorous two-week training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup in Spain set Aug. 30 to Sept. 14. The first practice session also marked the first time that NBA veteran Andray Blatche joined the national team. Blatche was granted naturalization, thus allowing him to play for the Philippines in various international tournaments. The 6-foot-11 Blatche, who recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, posted a photo of his No. 11 Pilipinas jersey on his Instagram account @draylive, saying: “Very thankful #puso.”
During a recent trip to Manila, teammates Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan put on a show for the fans. Watch as DeRozan jumps over Lowry to finish this sick alley oop off the backboard.
“I’ve seen what the national team can do,” said Harden. “They’re a well-rounded team. Players play the right way, get to the right spot and they can shoot the ball. They play somewhat like the Spurs or try to. Height doesn’t mean anything. What’s important is heart, will and effort. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”
The National Basketball Association warned a touring group of its stars that they could face financial fines for participating in clinics in Manila, Philippines, that include short scrimmages and games of “H-O-R-S-E,” league sources told Yahoo Sports. Several NBA stars, including Blake Griffin, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard, were scheduled to participate in promotional appearances in Manila this week, and the NBA has told its Players Association that the event organizers failed to gain league approval, sources said.
DeMar DeRozan: Can’t wait to get to Manila with @NBA_Philippines to check out the local talent! #NBA3XPH what should I do while I’m there?
Brooklyn Nets player Andray Blatche has been granted Filipino citizenship so he can play for the national team in the FIBA World Cup this year, officials said Wednesday. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said President Benigno Aquino III signed a law Wednesday granting citizenship to the American-born Blatche.
Spoelstra is planning to visit the Philippines this summer and might cross paths with Pacquiao. But a Spoelstra-Pacquiao coaching matchup is probably not going to happen. Spoelstra simply shook his head at that farfetched notion. “I’ll hopefully be able to see him this summer, see what’s up,” Spoelstra said. “Maybe I’ll check out a practice.”
And even though Spoelstra is wildly popular in the Philippines, the coach of the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat might have just lost his title as that nation’s favorite basketball coach. “Well, I’m not taking a boxing job,” said Spoelstra, a Filipino-American who has close ties to his mother’s homeland. “But I know he’s a huge basketball fan, so it doesn’t surprise me.” Pacquiao’s love for basketball is no secret, and he told reporters in the Philippines this week that he was taking the coaching position seriously. “A great responsibility,” Pacquiao said.
Manny Pacquiao is getting into Erik Spoelstra’s line of work. Pacquiao is taking over as a basketball coach in the Philippines Basketball Association. The longtime boxing champion was introduced this week as the coach of a new Kia team in that league, with the season opening in October.
Andray Blatche is still waiting to officially become a naturalized Filipino. But the Brooklyn Nets big man has already declared that he is Filipino. “I am very excited to play for the Philippines, and I thank everyone for making this once-in-a-lifetime chance happen,” Blatche said, according to Agence France-Presse. “I am Filipino now, so I will do my best to help my team.”
DeRozan though is the highlight, and will help run clinics and interact with Filipino fans. “I’m excited for my first visit to the Philippines to experience the country’s unique culture and to be a part of NBA 3X,” said DeRozan in the release. “Filipinos are world-renowned for their passion for the NBA and I can’t wait for this exciting showcase of their basketball skills.”
Toronto Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan is set to visit Manila in July, as the special guest for this year’s edition of NBA 3X Philippines, the league announced Monday via press release. The program, now in its fourth year, “combines exciting 3×3 on-court competition with free authentic NBA entertainment and experiences for fans of all ages,” such as a slam dunk contest, hoops clinics, three-point contests, skills challenges, autograph sessions, plus performances by an NBA dance team and an NBA mascot.
American Andray Blatche, the country’s prospect for naturalization, is set to arrive here Sunday morning, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes announced on Twitter. Blatche’s naturalization only needs the signature of the President to be completed. “He’s on the plane. Arriving tom, 10am. @drayblatche is coming to town!” Reyes, under the Twitter handle @coachot, posted on his account Saturday. Reyes also said that there is a chance the Brooklyn Nets center Blatche, tapped to give the Philippines a boost in the coming FIBA World Cup in Spain, will watch the game between the Air21 Express and the San Mig Coffee Mixers on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.