SBP working hard to make Remy Martin eligible in future FIBA tournaments

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With Jordan Clarkson’s eligibility status for the FIBA World Cup still up in the air, it looks like another Filipino-American hopeful won’t make the cut.

After months of speculation, Arizona State player Remy Martin confirmed that he won’t be included in the Philippines’ line-up for the prestigious tournament in China this coming August.

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In a statement on Saturday, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio shed light regarding the 20-year-old’s exclusion from the team.

“We are more than happy to accommodate Remy and make him part of our Gilas Pilipinas program. However, we are constrained by the FIBA ruling that says, a player, hoping to play as a local must have a local passport before the age of 16. That is one area that we are trying to ascertain,” he explained.

Martin’s case is similar to the plight of the country’s other top players like Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger, whom are both not considered by FIBA as “locals” despite an evident Filipino lineage. The governing body only allows one naturalized player per team — with the spot saved for Andray Blatche.

“There is no doubt that Remy’s mother, Mary Anne Bagtas Macaspac, was born in the Philippines. She has documents to prove that. However, we are waiting for more documents to prove that Remy is eligible to play as a local,” Panlilio added.

“We are thankful to Remy for his sincere interest to play for our flag and country. We, in the SBP are trying to do everything to make that a reality”.

Panlilio, who was recently elected as an executive in the FIBA-ASIA Board, also revealed that he will continue to push for amendments in the current eligibility rules.

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“The issue on eligibility will again be raised in the next FIBA eligibility meeting. My position as 2nd VP in the FIBA-ASIA Board gives me an opportunity to push for clarity and reforms on that matter”.

Martin, on the other hand, has been quite vocal on social media about his willingness and desire to represent the country in international competitions.

Although “hurt” by the snub, Martin remains hopeful he will be eligible in future tournaments.

“It was an honour to be mentioned. I will always represent. Maybe next time,” he wrote on Instagram.

(Photo from Getty Images)



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