Blatche-Fajardo tandem 'a good combination,' says Reyes | Inquirer Sports

Blatche-Fajardo tandem ‘a good combination,’ says Reyes

/ 12:55 AM May 17, 2017

June Mar Fajardo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

June Mar Fajardo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is keeping faith with the frontcourt combination of Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo despite their lackluster start against Thailand on Tuesday.

“That’s going to be our money combination: June Mar and Andray,” said Reyes, who is confident that his two giants will eventually flourish playing together at the same time.

With the Thais, somehow, matching up size-wise against Fajardo and Blatche, both struggled to get their offense going and Gilas had to settle with an 18-14 score at the end of the first quarter.

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The Philippines’ overwhelming talent, however, was just too much for Thailand to overcome as Blatche and Fajardo still came away with decent numbers.

Blatche wound up with 11 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while Fajardo had a near double-double with nine points and 11 boards in a 108-53 blowout victory.

Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

“We know that they’re going to struggle against quicker bigs and that’s why we still want to continue playing them. We know Thailand will use that as the strategy at the start of the ball game,” Reyes said. “They were not just beating us to the basket but also beating us to offensive rebounds because of the length of their bigs.”

“But we’ll continue to play them together because we want them to get used to playing together for the bigger picture. That gives us a lot of options when we play teams that are bigger but not as quick,” he added.

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Reyes said the tandem of Blatche and Fajardo can be risky against quicker big men but it also has a high reward.

“There’s always a tradeoff with size and speed, but the good thing with June Mar and Andray is they have size and outside shooting because of Andray’s skills and June Mar takes care of the inside. He doesn’t get in the way of Andray, and Andray doesn’t get in the way of June Mar. That’s a good combination for me,” he said.

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TAGS: 2017 Seaba Championship, Andray Blatche, Basketball, Chot Reyes, Gilas Pilipinas, June Mar Fajardo

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