Coming at the heels of FIBA’s decision to classify NorthPort high-flyer Jamie Malonzo as a local in all federation-sanctioned tournaments, the world governing body for basketball added 3 more players to the list of Fil-foreign players who can play as ‘Filipino’.
Roosevelt Adams, formerly of Terrafirma Dyip, Chris Newsome of Meralco and Maverick Ahanmisi of Converge.
A quick check at the FIBA media portal revealed that the three players are now registered as Filipinos under the banner of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
The 28-year old Adams, who just recently failed to come to terms with the Dyip and is reportedly leaning towards playing in Japan, was able to prove that he obtained a Philippine passport at the age of 9 – much earlier than the 16-year old FIBA requirement for local eligibility.
Newsome, meanwhile, was granted clearance by virtue of FIBA article 3-21a. The sweet-shooing Bolts guard acquired his Philippine passport shortly after turning 16 and moved to the country when he was 20. He studied and played college ball at the Ateneo de Manila University and has been playing professionally in the PBA since 2015.
Ahanmisi, for his part, was cleared after the 31-year old Fil-Nigerian presented a ‘special’ document that apparently satisfied the federation’s qualification for local eligibility.
Among the three, only Adams has not yet suited for Gilas Pilipinas. Ahanmisi played for the country during the 2018 Asian Games while Newsome donned the Philippine colors during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
With this development, the SBP can now include any of the four above-mentioned players to upcoming national team rosters as locals.
Unfortunately, the federation refused to grant the same courtesy to Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson who can only see action for Gilas as a naturalized player. FIBA only allows one naturalized player per country in every tournament.