The road to the Fiba World Cup is long and bumpy for Gilas Pilipinas. But Andray Blatche is ready for the ride—never mind if he has to cram to learn a new system.
“It’s coming along great for us,” he told journalists on Thursday night shortly after the Nationals’ training at Meralco Gym. It was his last practice with coach Yeng Guiao and the national squad before having to fly back to China on Monday to reconnect with his pro league team there.
No worries, he said.
“When we get to Qatar, we’re going to have two-a-days,” Blatche said. “We have time to catch up for it. You know, being there, being together away from everybody and having two practices a day—that’s still a lot.”
With the country’s World Cup bid now hanging in the balance, Guiao recalled Blatche to boost the team’s chances against Qatar and Kazakhstan, and the naturalized big man is rushing to absorb the new system Gilas Pilipinas is running.
“It’s like clockwork because I know what guys on this court are capable of doing and I know which guys are shooters, which guys are the slashers,” he said. “The more we go over the plays, the more it’s becoming natural to us—like everyone’s falling in line.”
Blatche and the Nationals are set to face Qatar on Feb. 21 before closing their campaign in the final window against Kazakhstan on Feb. 25.
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