‘Stocky’ Andray Blatche back in duty for Gilas PH
Andray Blatche finally joined Gilas Pilipinas’ training for the FIBA World Cup Monday night at Meralco Gym in Ortigas, cranking up the Filipinos’ preparations for the global meet slated for August in China.
The naturalized big man arrived in Manila last Saturday morning but was only able to put in work Monday due to the national team’s fixed twice-a-week training schedule which includes Thursday nights.
Despite being visibly stockier, Blatche, now 32, blended well with the members of the training pool which ran an assortment of half and full-court offensive plays.
“Until you get the feel! Until you get the feel!” Guiao barked, as he continued to smoothen the members’ familiarity with the system.
Blatche’s last stint with the national team was during the Asian qualifiers in Kazakhstan, where he fired 41 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, punctuating the Filipinos’ return to the World Cup.
A Brooklyn native who was made Filipino citizen in April 2014, Blatche is also set to reprise a key role for the Philippines after helping Gilas through the 2014 edition of the games in Seville, Spain.
Gilas is due for a pocket tournament in the same European country early August and a couple of tuneup games with Australian club Adelaide 36ers.
The Filipinos are bracketed with Serbia, Italy, and Angola in Group D play set in the Chinese city of Foshan beginning August 31.