PERLAS Pilipinas got a boost in its bid to recruit a naturalized player for the national women’s squad.
Head coach Patrick Aquino bared Senate support for plans to have a naturalized player for the women’s basketball team similar to the boost given by Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche to the Gilas men's side.
Previous efforts to naturalize a player, particularly from China, for Perlas during the time of former head coach Haydee Ong failed to get Senate approval.
This time, Perlas got the support of Sen. Sonny Angara, who was recently elected chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“We had a courtesy call about two weeks ago with Sen. Sonny Angara. He told us that he will help us in bringing in a naturalized player. SBP is also busy with that to help us in getting a naturalized player,” said Aquino.
“Hopefully, hindi lang men’s, pati women’s magkaroon ng naturalized player,” Aquino said.
Aquino said having a naturalized player will enhance the chance of Perlas Pilipinas to gain supremacy in the Southeast Asian region and be competitive in Asia.
“The SBP and Perlas management are working on getting a naturalized player like Andray Blatche. It’s an add-on for the team in preparation for international tournaments including Fiba,” Aquino said.