Smiling Blatche says Gilas played with more heart vs Hong Kong
CHANGSHA CITY, China – Andray Blatche walked to the team bus with a smile on his face, a refreshing demeanor that clashed with his mood just a day before when Gilas Pilipinas was on the losing end of one of the biggest upsets in Fiba Asia tournament history.
“I can smile a little bit more now, definitely,” Blatche told the Inquirer after pumping in 17 points and hauling down eight rebounds in just 18 minutes in the Filipinos’ 101-50 ripping of Hong Kong on Thursday morning.
“I just feel that we did two things differently from yesterday (in a 75-73 loss to newcomer Palestine) – we hit shots and we rebounded,” Blatche continued.
“And another thing, we played with much more heart today than we did yesterday. That was the main reason why we got the easy win,” he said. “Yesterday (against Palestine) we couldn’t close it out.
“They (Palestinians) played like they wanted the win more than we did.”
By this time, a local reporter came and asked Blatche about a projected clash with China somewhere in the knockout stages and which team the naturalized Filipino is worried about facing.
“I’m worried about us,” Blatche gamely said. “I’m worried about how we come out and execute. When we play together and we hit our shots, we’re a tough team like we showed today.
“As long as we play with the same effort, we will be fine,” he told the Chinese reporter. “We will get our goal (of winning the gold medal and going to the Olympics next year in Brazil).”