ADD Brian Butch to the mix of foreigners who’d be honored to play for the Philippine men’s basketball team bound for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
A former candidate for naturalization for the original Smart Gilas, the Meralco import expressed his willingness to undergo naturalization process and challenge Andray Blatche and Marcus Douthit for the lone spot in the national team.
They Said It!
“To be part of it is something special,I’d be open to it." Meralco import Brian Butch
“To be part of it is something special,I’d be open to it,” Butch said after leading the Bolts to their first win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday when it walloped defending champion Alaska, 85-76.
Talking to current naturalized Filipino Douthit also heightened his desire as both players have the same agent.
“I’ve talked to Marcus a little bit about how much he enjoys it…I’m excited to play here now.”
The 29-year-old American slotman flashed his velvety touch from long range against the Aces as he buried six triples on the way to tallying 27 points on top of 17 boards, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Butch’s shooting could be an asset to the national team.
“He’s a floor-spacer,” Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio said of the American reinforcement. “He gives a lot of opportunities for other guys to penetrate inside.”
But Butch stressed that he can offer more than that.
“It all depends on who’s guarding me. If they put a big guy on me, I could do what I did today. If they put a smaller guy on me, we read it. The game of basketball is all about reads, all about understanding.”
“And I’m not a guy who’s just going to go one-on-one. I’m a type of guy who’s going to play off my teammates and make the right plays,” added the approachable import, who showed he was not afraid to mix it up inside against the Aces.
“It’s a very physical game, but the biggest thing about it is I’ve been playing physical my whole life, so I’m kinda used to it.”
If his performance against Alaska was already impressive, imagine what he can do the next time as he admitted he was hardly satisfied with his play.
“I expect more from myself. We’ll see what we can do. But the biggest thing is to keep playing hard and do whatever we got to do as a team to continue to win games