Andray Blatche was born in Syracuse, New York, but he is close to representing the Philippines in this summer’s FIBA World Cup. Blatche—who has said that he is half-Filipino in the past, a claim that Nets guard Joe Johnson doesn’t think is true—was the subject of a bill that passed unanimously within the country’s government yesterday which approved his citizenship.

Via the New York Post:

Andray Blatche took another step towards becoming a naturalized citizen of the Philippines Monday, which would allow the Nets big man to play on an international stage this fall.

 

The Filipino Senate unanimously passed a bill to approve Blatche becoming a naturalized citizen, with the only remaining step being President Benigno S. Aquino III signing the bill into law, which he is expected to do. That would allow Blatche, who is from Syracuse, to become a member of the Filipino national basketball team.

 

Blatche, who averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds this season off the bench, would easily be the best player on the Filipino team, which will be one of 24 competing in the FIBA World Cup — formerly known as the World Championships — in Spain during August and September. The 6-foot-11 Blatche will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after serving as a productive reserve each of the past two seasons in Brooklyn.