Despite bad game, Gilas would "still rather have" Andray Blatche

Paul Lintag on Nov 28, 2017 01:13 PM
Despite bad game, Gilas would
Andray Blatche only scored six points against Taipei, missing seven of his nine attempts including five three-pointers. It was easily his worst offensive outing for Gilas Pilipinas.

MANILA, Philippines --- June Mar Fajardo played his best game for Gilas Pilipinas Monday in a victory over the visiting Chinese Taipei at the Araneta Coliseum here.

But the Kraken's best also came during naturalized center Andray Blatche's worst outing for the national team.

So it was a good thing the Kraken was balling against the Taiwanese because Blatche sure didn't win the game for the Philippines.

Andray knew it and he made sure to let the team know as well afterwards.

"Well he apologized personally for the team after the game at the dugout tonight. I think we've seen the worst of Andray's games," head coach Chot Reyes said during his post-game press conference regarding Blatche.

The naturalized center gor Gilas Pilipinas had a rough night on offense against Taipei, finishing with only six points on 2/9 shooting from the field including 0/5 from deep. He also had six turnovers in 28 and a half minutes of play.

Despite that however, Reyes liked the way his big man tried to provide on the defensive side of the ball particularly in the second half.

With Fajardo taking care of the lane offensively, Blatche came away with 14 rebounds and five blocks to complete his stat line.

"Blatche may have played a bad offensive game but I thought he played good defense for us in the second half, he had five blocks. In the first half Quincy Davis was getting his way on Andray but he tightened up in the second half," Reyes said.

With the first window of the first round of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers now complete, the Philippines will look forward to February of 2018 where they will have scheduled games against Australia on the road and against Japan at home.

Hopefully then, Blatche regains his bearings.

Fingers crossed.

"He would have been playing for a couple of months in China, so that should be able to help. But the key is to get him practicing with us for more than five days, like what happened today. It's really hard, hindi naka-tono, he's not in synch with our little counters, the little things that we do. We can't teach everything in five days," Reyes said of Blatche who only arrived to the country late at night last Nov. 18.

He came straight from China after playing a couple of regular season games in the CBA.

"You might be able to teach everything but to actually practice it, run it, make it instinct, you can't get that in five days. So that's the key with Andray," Reyes said.

"We're not too worried, we'd still rather have Andray than not have him, especially when we play the big teams. We'd still rather have Andray at this point," he added.



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