THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is confident President Aquino would sign the naturalization papers of NBA player Andray Blatche to help Gilas Pilipinas in its campaign in the Fiba-World Cup and Asian Games.
“The President is aware of the urgency. We’re optimistic that he will act on it sooner or later,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Shakey's Malate.
They Said It!
“We’re always in touch with (the President's) office. Things will work out fine." SBP executive director Sonny Barrios
“We’re always in touch with his office. Things will work out fine.”
The naturalization of the 6-foot-11 Blatche was approved on third and final reading last week by the Senate. Senator Edgardo `Sonny’ Angara was the main author of the bill.
Blatche’s naturalization is among the big news expected to make the soon-to-be-launched SBP website to be formed in partnership with the same group responsible for the live stats in the FIBA website.
“We wanted a website that’s something meaningful and interactive dahil alam naman natin na number one ang basketball sa Pilipinas,” said Barrios, who talked about the latest SBP project in the same forum presented by Shakey’s, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, and Shakeys, where he was joined by Nick Maywald of Sporting Pulse, SBP legal counsel Aga Francisco, and PBA head of statistician and Spin.ph columnist Fidel Mangonon III.
Barrios said the new SBP website comes at a perfect time especially with Gilas Pilipinas campaigning in the Fiba-World Cup in Spain this August.
Prior to that, the national team will also be competing in the Fiba-Asia Cup in Wuhan, China from July 11-19. Then there’s the Asia Pacific 3-on-3, the Youth Olympic Games, and the FIBA-Asia U18 Championship.
Maywald, for his part, said the Philippines has long been on the radar of Sporting Pulse the past few years, saying, “I’ve never been to a country that has been passionate for the sport of basketball.”