Baldwin on Blatche's game: 'It's coming' | Inquirer Sports
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Baldwin on Blatche’s game: ‘It’s coming’

/ 12:16 AM September 12, 2015
Tab Baldwin talking to Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Tab Baldwin talking to Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Playing in his first game back since returning from the United States, Andray Blatche’s performance for Gilas Pilipinas against Talk ‘N Text in the Master Game Face MVP Cup on Friday can be summed up in a few words.

“Some good, some not so good,” said national team coach Tab Baldwin.

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Showing progress in his conditioning, Blatche still struggled from the field as he finished with 12 points, on a 4-of-14 shooting from the field, to go with five rebounds in 24 minutes of play.

But Baldwin isn’t losing sleep with his naturalized player’s performance.

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“Andray’s offense has got to find his rhythm and he’s got to get involved in the running game. He’ll shoot the ball better than he shot it tonight. His transition isn’t there and he’s really not running the lanes for us,” he said.

Baldwin knows the importance of Blatche in his system, and though he may not contribute as much on offense, the Syracuse-born center has been the rock for Gilas on the defensive end.

“The one thing that you don’t really see with Andray is his defensive intelligence,” he said. “He anchors the middle of our defense and he gives us that big presence that we didn’t have in the Jones Cup, and that was there tonight. It was tough for Talk ‘N Text to get anything around the basket.”

Blatche has shown promise in his first minutes until he inadvertently got elbowed by Jayson Castro in the back on a screen which stung him for the rest of the game.

“I was doing fine until I got elbowed in my back and it kind of slowed me down and made it worse,” he said.

But Baldwin is confident that Blatche will just shrug the mild injury off.

With his line up consisting of speedy guards and versatile wings already taking shape, Baldwin is hoping that Blatche would be that final piece of the puzzle for the Philippines as they figure in the Asian basketball stage.

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“We’ve got that speed on the perimeter, and the versatility of our wings. We just need Andray to fill in those gaps,” he said.

And Baldwin has no doubt that Blatche would get it all together on time.

“It’s coming.”

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TAGS: Andray Blatche, Basketball, Fiba Asia Championships, Gilas Pilipinas, Philippines, Sports, Tab Baldwin
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