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Austin out to make case for naturalization in Chooks Pilipinas' Champions Cup bid

MANILA, Philippines – If the chips fall into their respective places, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas’ import Isaiah Austin will be on a collision course with naturalized Filipino and longtime Gilas big man Andray Blatche in a club tournament in China.

And it couldn’t be more timely for the 7-foot-1 Austin as it could be a on opportunity for him to reinforce his bid for a Filipino citizenship.

Isaiah Austin. Photo from @TiebreakerTimes twitter
"I've seen a lot of his games, I know his style of play. He's a very crafty player, very good post player,” the 23-year-old California native said of Blatche. "Whenever I can, I study film of a lot of players and I can definitely learn a lot of things from watching him play.”

Austin will be leading a pack of young Filipinos in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup set to begin this Saturday in China. Waiting on the other side of the groupings is China Kashgar, which is bannered by Blatche — Philippines’ old reliable in many of its international conquests.

The former Baylor University standout, who has found a new lease on life in basketball overseas, is the biggest testament to the Philippines’ famed rallying cry “puso.” He returned to competitive basketball in 2016 after being momentarily held down by a genetic disorder. Now, he is one of the Reyes and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ primary candidates for naturalization in hopes of addressing the national team’s perennial big man puzzle.

Author: Denison Rey A. Dalupang, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/09/21/1741338/austin-out-make-case-naturalization-chooks-pilipinas-champions-cup-bid

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