MANILA — Aside from Andray Blatche, the eligibility of Jared Dillinger and Gabe Norwood to play are also in question.
According to an official from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said that they received a letter from the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc) on Tuesday requesting for any proof of residency from the said members of the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team. Gilas is the official representative of the Philippines to the World FIBA Cup 2014.
Both Norwood and Dillinger are expected to pass the inspection given that they have bene playing in the PBA for the last years. However, the case with Blatche will be difficult since he only received his proof of naturalization barely two months ago.
Events like these have a different set of rules.
The same source from POC said that they already tried to secure assurance from POC Official Steve Hontiveros for Blatche in time for the Youth Olympics but all in vain.
“Walang nakuha sa (he didn’t get anything in) China from OCA officials,” SBP executive Moying Martelino told the Inquirer over the phone, referring to the concrete go-ahead from the body which Hontiveros pursued clearing Blatche to play.
South Korea is strict in implementing the Olympic Council of Asia (Oca) rules which state that – for all sports, naturalized players should have resided in the country he will represent for at least three years before being allowed to play.
“We have our position (on Blatche) and we are still waiting for (the clearance in black-and-white),” Martelino added. “We just want a categorical statement from both.”
Worse comes to worst, Marcus Douthit can be the replacement for Blatche as long as the latter will declare that he is injured. However, Blatche rejected this idea to avoid the possibility of disappointing potential NBA suitors.