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    Reyes eyeing McGee, Blatche to beef up Gilas as naturalization process begins

    Jan 30, 2014
    The naturalization process for both Javale McGee (not in picture) and Andray Blatche has started with separate bills filed in Congress by Rep. Robbie Puno. AP

    GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes bared on Thursday that they are looking to tap either Javale McGee or fellow NBA player Andray Blatche to reinforce the national team in the Fiba World Cup in Spain in August.

    Emerging from a meeting with the PBA board on Thursday, Reyes said two bills have been filed in Congress by Rep. Robbie Puno seeking the naturalization of McGee of the Denver Nuggets and Blatche of the Brooklyn Nets.

    Gilas also has obtained clearance from the two players' NBA mother teams for their stint with the national team, Reyes added.

    "We've been in discussions with Javale McGee for quite some time now. We got clearance already with his mother team," said Reyes. "But he just found out he may have to undergo surgery on his injured shin, so di tayo sure if he can make it in time for the Fiba World Cup."

    Reyes added: "With that development, it's prudent to choose a backup and that's Andray Blatche. He has agreed to play for the Philippines, he's 28 years-old, plays for the Brooklyn Nets who averages close to 12 points per game."

    If McGee and Blatche's naturalization papers are passed and both are healthy by June 30, they will join Gilas' naturalized player Marcus Douthit in a 24-man pool from where the national team to the World Cup and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea will be picked.

    Fiba rules, however, limit teams to one naturalized player, meaning Reyes may have to choose among the three on who to tap for the two major tournaments.

    Continue reading below ↓

    "Hopefully, by June 30, we could come up with the 24-man lineup for the deadline of fiba," Reyes said. "We could include both (McGee and Blatche) together with Douthit (in the pool), But only one will be allowed as (our) naturalized player."

    The deadline for the submission of lineups for the Fiba World Cup is on July 30.

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    The naturalization process for both Javale McGee (not in picture) and Andray Blatche has started with separate bills filed in Congress by Rep. Robbie Puno. AP
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