Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes still trusts Andray Blatche
MANILA, Philippines – Andray Blatche has not been on his best shape, at least based on basketball standards, but Gilas coach Chot Reyes would rather have him on board than not have him at all.
The naturalized big man scored only 6 points in a 2-of-9 shooting in the Philippines’ 90-83 win over Chinese Taipei Monday, November 28, and accounted for 6 of the team’s 15 turnovers.
Blatche missed all of his 5 attempts from deep and at moments looked out of sync in Gilas’ offensive and defensive schemes. And he was the only Gilas player to have more than 2 turnovers.
But Reyes did not really make much of Blatche’s offensive woes, especially since the former NBA player made his presence felt on the defensive end with game-highs of 14 rebounds and 5 blocks.
“I think we’ve seen the worst of Andray’s games but hopefully, in the next window, he’s going to be in better basketball shape. He would play a couple months in China so that should be able to help,” said Reyes.
Blatche only joined Gilas practices last Novembver 19, 2 days before the team left for Tokyo and 6 days before the Filipinos faced the Japanese last November 24. Gilas won the game, 77-71.
“The key is to get him practicing with us for more than 5 days like what happened today. He’s not in sync with our little counters, the little things that we do. You can’t teach everything in 5 days. You might be able to teach everything but to actually practice it, run it, you can’t get it in 5 days,” said Reyes.
Gilas will face FIBA Asia giants Australia in their homecourt in the second window of the Qualifiers on February 22, 2018 and the longtime national team mentor hopes the team will play its best basketball.
“We have to get to a level where everyone is playing well, including Andray. But that is the effect of not having practice time, he’s had 5 practices with us and that’s really not enough.” – Rappler.com