NBA
Women's cage team pushes for own naturalized player
- Olmin Leyba () - April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Now that the Smart Gilas Pilipinas already got American slotman Marcus Douthit eligible for its international sorties, the women’s basketball team is appealing to cage officials and legislators to let the cagebelles have their own naturalized player soon.

Women’s team coach Haydee Ong has asked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Congress to help fast-track the processing of the application for naturalization of 6-foot-3 Chinese Zheng Xiaojing as the squad sets out to compete in two major competitions this year.

Kailangan talaga namin si Zheng para may legitimate threat kami sa post (We really need Zheng to provide us with a legitimate threat at the post),” said Ong.

A Fujian native, Zheng has been practicing with the Phl quintet for over two years already, even suiting up as reinforcement in a couple of games last year.

Her bid for naturalization got rolling through House Bill 02683 filed by Antipolo Rep. Roberto Puno in August 2010, about the same time as Douthit’s. The bill seeking to provide Phl citizenship to Zheng was approved by the House on second reading last September. However, only Douthit’s bill (02307) eventually went all the way to approval by the House and Senate, eventually lapsing into law (RA 10148) last March to make the 6-foot-10 American a naturalized Filipino.

Natabunan kasi ang naturalization na hinihiling namin para kay Zheng kaya ipinapakiusap namin na sana ay makumpirma siya bago ang FIBA Asia Championship at SEA Games (We hope Zheng’s naturalization will be expedited so that she can join us for the Fiba Asia Championship and the SEA Games),” Ong appealed.

The 24th Fiba Asia Championship for Women is set Aug. 21-28 in Nagasaki, Japan while the Southeast Asian Games is slated November in Indonesia. The Filipinas are looking to sustain the momentum from their breakthrough triumph in the SEABA Championship for Women last year in Manila, which they ruled even with the inteligible Zheng just watching from the sidelines.

A FUJIAN ANTIPOLO REP ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP CHINESE ZHENG XIAOJING DOUTHIT FIBA ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP HAYDEE ONG HOUSE AND SENATE HOUSE BILL MARCUS DOUTHIT ZHENG
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