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After early elimination, NLEX thinking of bringing in Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche



Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Andray Blatche is on top of the list of import candidates of NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez.

The 6-foot-11 Blatche’s versatility will be the perfect complement to veteran slotman Asi Taulava, who will still play the starting center spot for the Road Warriors.

Fernandez told media about the plan of bringing in the former Brooklyn Net, who spent the past few months playing in the Chinese Basketball League.

“We’re thinking about that,” Fernandez said, referring to the possibility of Blatche playing for his squad. “But we’ll ask the SBP muna kung anong gagawin. But there’s a rule regarding naturalized player playing as import right? Kailangan ialok muna siya sa iba.”

There was a previous ruling for naturalized players to play as imports in the PBA.

Marcus Douthit, who was naturalized ahead of Blatche, was allowed to play in the PBA, but his rights to play for Air21 had to be approved by the PBA Board of Governors.

According to Fernandez, Blatche looks to be the right fit as their import of choice because of his familiarity with the team’s system.

“That will be good because he’s fit with the dribble drive system,” added Fernandez. “He can play a little bit of wing, but more importantly he could help Asi in the post. So we’re looking for a guy who can play the No. 4 position.”

Blatche used to play the power forward position and played alongside June Mar Fajardo, who manned the center spot, for the Gilas Pilipinas national squad when the team competed in the FIBA World Cup.