By Jonas Terrado
Gilas Pilipinas expects naturalized player Andray Blatche to arrive this weekend to reinforce the country’s preparation for the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Coach Chot Reyes said Blatche is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, though chances are the former NBA player may arrive on a later date.
Reyes, however, is getting encouraging news that Blatche has been working out in his home in Atlanta to make sure he would be in better shape before Gilas plunges into action on June 29 against Taiwan and July 2 opposite Australia.
“He’s been working out quite religiously in Atlanta and we are expecting him to come in much better shape when he arrives,” Reyes said.
Weight issues have been a constant concern for Blatche ever since he made his Gilas debut in the 2014 World Cup in Spain, though he looked to be in tip-top form in the second window when the Philippines played Australia and Japan.
Blatche averaged 11.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.8 blocks in the first two windows of the qualifiers that saw the Philippines win third of its first four games for second place in Group B.
Gilas had become preparation for the qualfiiers last Monday with nine players in attendance at the Meralco gym.