PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia on Tuesday said naturalized player Andray Blatche remains on floating status as far as the coming Asian Games is concerned, although he doesn’t see any reason for the big man not to be part of the Philippine delegation in Incheon, South Korea.
Garcia, also the chef de mission of the Philippine contingent to the Asiad, said the local Asian Games Task Force responsible for processing documents of the entire delegation, is only awaiting for the Philippine passport of Blatche as required by organizers.
But Garcia is confident the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will come up with the necessary documents in time for the August deadline of the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc).
“I hope by then (August), okay na lahat ‘yun,” said Garcia in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“It is now up to the SBP to see to it na lahat ng requirements ma-comply,” Garcia said.
Glitches are not foreseen as far as Blatche’s situation is concerned especially after his naturalization papers were signed by President Aquino more than two months before the Asiad, slated from September 19 to October 4.
Blatche’s papers should also be completed in time for the 2014 Fiba-World Cup from August 30 to September 14.
But even before his naturalization went into full swing, Garcia said the SBP had already submitted Blatche’s name to the initial ‘entry-by-name’ deadline imposed by Iagoc.
“He had complied with the first requirement. He was included in the entry for accreditation. Kasama siya sa initial na 400 athletes. His papers are floating but the deadline for submission of entries will really be in August,” Garcia said.
The PSC chairman said Gilas Pilipinas’ other naturalized player Marcus Douthit is also included in SBP’s initial list to the Asiad, but the country’s governing body for the sport will have to choose between the two since only one naturalized player is allowed per team.
“Nandoon din si Douthit. Ang rules of the organizing committee is only one can play. SBP will have to decide,” said Garcia.
Gilas Pilipinas is aiming for no less than the gold medal in the Asiad following a strong runner-up finish behind Iran in last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.