Gilas' Blatche shrugs off injury: 'I'll be okay' | Inquirer Sports

Gilas’ Blatche shrugs off injury: ‘I’ll be okay’

/ 10:24 PM May 17, 2017

Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Andray Blatche. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes would rather be safe than sorry.

Reyes opted to rest naturalized center Andray Blatche, who is nursing a mild hamstring strain, and let the locals get the job done against also-ran Vietnam on Wednesday.

“I think he tweaked his hamstring a little bit yesterday, but I think it’s just a mild strain,” said Reyes after Gilas steamrolled Vietnam, 107-52.

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Gilas didn’t quite feel the absence of Blatche, who is averaging 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 blocks in the tournament, against the Vietnamese as it easily racked up its fifth straight win.

Reyes said holding out Blatche is also a way to make sure that the former NBA veteran will be 100% ready for Gilas’ title showdown with fellow unbeaten Indonesia on Thursday.

And like the Philippines, Indonesia is also armed with a naturalized player in Jamarr Johnson, who on Tuesday was just got cleared by Fiba to play in the tournament.

“Obviously, it’s a competition and the essence of sport is you can never be sure. That’s why we keep harping on the fact that we shouldn’t take anything for granted, and we’d like to think everything we’ve done at this point is to get us ready for this game tomorrow,” he said, as the Philippines gear up for war against Indonesia with the elusive ticket to the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup at stake.

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“From the start, we knew Indonesia is going to be the toughest opponent, so we can only find ourselves here. They’re getting ready as well and they’re raring to go as well. They have a couple of guys who are very, very fresh, that’s why we made it a point to rest Andray and get him fresh as well.”

Blatche also assured the team that there’s nothing to worry about his status.

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“I’ll be okay,” he quipped before leaving the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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TAGS: 2017 Seaba Championship, Andray Blatche, Basketball, Gilas Pilipinas

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