FIBA WORLD CUP: Blatche is Gilas’ game changer says Guiao

Paul Lintag on Feb 05, 2019 12:07 PM
FIBA WORLD CUP: Blatche is Gilas’ game changer says Guiao
The naturalized center has rejoined the national team as Gilas prepares for the 6th and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Reinforcement has arrived for Gilas Pilipinas in the name of Andray Blatche.

The naturalized center has rejoined the national team as Gilas prepares for the 6th and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Gilas needs two wins to have a chance at earning a spot in the World Cup and Blatche should be the one that gives the Philippines its edge.

“He’s going to be the game changer,” Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said of Andray Blatche.

“He's bringing in a lot of confidence, he's really lifting the morale of the team just because of his abilities,” he added.

Even though Blatche only had his first official practice of the year with Gilas Monday, he’s coming along nicely says Guiao.

Blatche has dropped by practices of NLEX and Rain or Shine over the weekend and that’s helped his accelerate his familiarization with Guiao’s system.

The away games over at Qatar and Kazakhstan will be the first for Blatche under Guiao.

“He's picked up on the plays really quick. One reason he practiced this morning with NLEX, we ran the same plays. On Saturday, he practiced with Rain or Shine we ran the same plays. So he's putting enough time and repetitions to be able to memorize the plays,” Guiao said.

“I think he's just doing fine with the absorption of the system and the patterns, and getting to know the rest of the guys,” he added.

Even as Gilas tries to make the most out of its with Blatche, Guiao is impressed with what he’s seeing so far.

Andray is certainly set up to live up to his role as the national team’s game changer.

“Nakita naman natin he's going to demand the double team definitely. I don't think there's anybody in the Kazakhstan team or the Qatar team that can stop him one-on-one,” Guiao said of Blatche.

“We saw what his abilities are. He's an inside, outside guy. He's a very versatile player who can shoot and who can pass,” he added.

 

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