Reyes defends Blatche: ‘His value goes beyond points, rebounds’
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes came to the defense of naturalized big man Andray Blatche, who took flak for his subpar numbers in a loss to Australia in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers on Thursday.
Blatche only had eight points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. He was aggressive to start the game, but appeared winded in the second half, where the Aussies took control to win, 84-68, and remain undefeated at 3-0.
“Also to say that @drayblatche is our guy – his value goes beyond pts & rebounds. We have his back. # #GilasSigningOff,” Reyes posted on Twitter.
June Mar Fajardo led the Filipinos with 15 points while Matthew Wright added nine.
Despite Blatche’s struggles and the absence of key players particularly Jayson Castro due to an injury, the Philippines put up a gallant stand against the 10th-best team in the world, as per Fiba rankings.
Gilas hopes to get back on the winning track against Japan, which is still winless after three games, on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Castro, who was sidelined with an ankle injury, is expected to return against the Japanese.
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