Chot comes to the defense of Blatche: Andray is our guy
Paul Lintag on Feb 26, 2018 09:40 AM
"If we didn't have Andray, we would have lost by 30 [against Australia], 30 points easily. You can qoute me on that. Andray makes us competitive, regardless of what the numbers or stats show." --- Chot Reyes on Andray Blatche.
MANILA, Philippines --- Andray Blatche has been subject to a tremendous amount of hate for his supposed lackluster play for Gilas Pilipinas.
They say it's time for the national team to move on from the naturalized Filipino.
Haters point to Andray's down games so far in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers and to be fair, Blatche has had a tough stretch of games for the Philippines.
Back in November, Blatche probably played his worst game for Gilas during the win against Taipei at home. On the road against Australia late last week, Andray failed to crack double digits again.
The criticisms were magnified following that loss to the Boomers.
However, national team head coach Chot Reyes has come to the defense of Andray Blatche, basically saying that the hate hurled towards him is coming from people who have no idea how Gilas Pilipinas works from the inside.
"As for Andray, his value has always been beyond the numbers and I knoww he had a lot of flak for the last game. He scored 8 points, [grabbed] 7 rebounds but his job was to guard [Daniel] Kickert," Reyes said Sunday following Gilas' bounce-back win over Japan at home.
"Andray held Kickert to five points. So those of you who understand basketball, you will see that it's not points only. On a match-up basis, if basketball were linear, what would you tak? Andray's 8 points but his man had 5 points so that's a plus 3," he added.
Daniel Kickert was Australia's top player heading into the game against the Philippines, going for 18.5 points on 75 percent shooting.
Against the Akatsuki Five, Blatche played his best game of these Asian Qualifiers, posting 18 points and 16 rebounds for the victory.
And once again, Reyes highlighted Blatche's true value for Gilas Pilipinas.
"I'm telling everybody, we're taking a look at everything but Andray is our guy," he said.
"If we didn't have Andray, we would have lost by 30 [against Australia], 30 points easily. You can qoute me on that. Andray makes us competitive, regardless of what the numbers or stats show," Reyes added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8