Tuloy ang pakikipag-alyansa ng Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas kay naturalized player Andre Blatche bilang Philippine national men’s team member para sa 18th International Basketball Federation World Cup 2019 sa Beijing, China at 32nd Summer Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan sa 2020.
Ito ay ayon kina SBP executive director Renauld Barrios at SBP international affairs deputy exec. dir. Butch Antonio sa PSA Forum sa Shakey’s Malate-Manila kahapon bilang paglilinaw sa isyung sisipain na ang player sa national team.
“Let’s not take Andre (Blatche) out of the equation, he is still a Filipino,” wika Antonio. “In fact after the Olympic Qualifying Team (OQT), we discuss everything and he promised to be with the team as much as it will not run in conflict should he able to make it back to the NBA.”
Ikakabit na rin sa plano ng Gilas 5.0 ang 29th Southeast Asian Games 2017 sa Malaysia, 6th FIBA Asia Challenge Cup 2019 sa Iran, 18th Asiad at 2019 SEA Games sa Pilipinas.
“We are now identifying talent and closely looking on all tournaments that is everything in between of 2019 World Cup like the FIBA Asia Challenge Cup, 2018 Asiad. Lahat iyun ay tatargetin na namin as well as other sport under MVP group,” esplika.