Asiad Committee Urged to Follow FIBA Eligibility Rules

FIBA gave Andray Blatche the green light to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the
Asian Games and urged the Asiad's organizing committee to honor his eli-
gibility. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

The International Basketball Federation told the organizing committee of the Asian Games to follow the organization's rule on players' eligibility.

In a letter written to Asian Games Secretary General Kwon Kyung-Sang, Director General Jo Young-Ha, and Sports Entries Director Mun Ho-Sung, FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann reminded them that FIBA "establishes the eligibility criteria for all basketball athletes worldwide for the purpose of their participation in national team competitions organized by or sanctioned by FIBA."

Although not directly mentioned in the letter, Baumann declared Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player Andray Blatche eligible to play in the Asiad as he was "registered in FIBA's eligibility system as a player for the Philippines" and that FIBA got confused after he was barred from playing in the said competition.

Baumann also reminded the Asiad organizing committee that FIBA's eligibility rules also apply to the said games.

Baumann then urged Kwon, Jo, and Mun to review their decision, apply FIBA's eligibility rules, and allow Blatche to play for Gilas.

Blatche's opportunity to play for Gilas in the Asian Games got a huge blow as a rule requires naturalized players to be a resident of the country he is representing for at least three years to become eligible for the games. Blatche has only been with Gilas for a few months.

The rule also disallowed Chinese Taipei's naturalized player Quincy Davis from playing for the Asian Games team.

Below is a copy of the letter sent by Baumann to the Asian Games' organizing committee in Incheon, South Korea.
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