Return of in-shape Andray Blatche boosts Gilas Pilipinas confidence
Andray Blatche may not be able to spend much time with his Gilas Pilipinas teammates in practice but national team captain Gabe Norwood feels seeing the naturalized big man in top form was enough.
Blatche had just participated in his first two practice sessions with Gilas on Monday and Tuesday and will only have on more training with the team on Thursday before returning to China on February 11.
Unlike in the past where he showed up overweight, Blatche this time, came in ready to go and Norwood noticed it right away.
— NLEX Road Warriors (@ArangkadaNLEX) February 6, 2019
“It’s big just to have him and definitely to see him coming in the way he is. He’s shooting the ball really well in just a few days of practice and I think the guys feed off of that,” Norwood told INQUIRER.net.
“We have confidence coming in, seeing the way he’s playing, the way he’s approaching our team so it’s always good to have Dray here and I think he’s happy to be back also.”
Pressed for time, national team head coach Yeng Guiao had Blatche practice with Gilas assistant Caloy Garcia at Rain or Shine and Guiao at NLEX to get better grasp of the system Gilas runs.
“We’re getting there. We’re getting better chemistry. Andray’s getting more familiar with the plays. I think he’s very comfortable with the plays now,” Guiao said.
“Again, we’re trying to keep everything simple. His time is really limited here and the players’ time is limited as well because they still have to contend with the PBA scheduling,” he added. “We just have to work with those limitations.”
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