IAGOC unyielding: Blatche can’t play

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Andray Blatche AFP FILE PHOTO

Andray Blatche AFP FILE PHOTO

CITING the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) rules on naturalized players, the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC) reaffirmed on Tuesday its early decision to bar the 6’11 naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche from playing in the Asian Games slated on September 19 to October 4, 2014.

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“Blatche is no longer on the list of athletes according to the IAGOC. What we’re trying to do is to replace him with Marcus Douthit,” Asian Games Chief   of Mission for Philippines Richie Garcia, who is also  the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “The IAGOC is very strict in that ruling.”

Samahan ng Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Vice Chairman Ricky Vargas also informed reporters that the IAGOC barred Blatche from playing in the Asian Games because of OCA’s three-year residency ruling for naturalized players despite FIBA’s request to reenlist the NBA veteran in the Gilas Pilipinas’ line-up.

“SBP received an e-mail from the Olympic Council of Asia stating that the IAGOC would follow the rule of eligibility code under the OCA constitution that only allows naturalized players who already have a three-year residency in the country,” Vargas told reporters.

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