Though his stay will be cut short, Andray Blatche expressed satisfaction with the way Gilas Pilipinas has been preparing for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ sixth window.
Blatche, who arrived in the Philippines last February 1, will have to leave his brothers-in-arms again on February 11. He needs to fly back to China and fulfill his contractual obligations with mother team Tianjin Gold Lions in the CBA.
“It’s coming along great for us. The more we go over the plays, the more it’s becoming a natural type to us, like everybody’s falling in line, everybody’s working hard,” said Blatche after Gilas practice, Thursday evening.
“So, you know, we’re getting prepared the right way.”
It may be difficult to have his time with Gilas cut short, but Blatche said that his return to China could be of help, since it can also serve as a way to get ready for the upcoming window. Gilas will battle Qatar (February 21) and Kazakhstan (February 24).
“When I go back to China, I can still have the plays in the back of my head, and I can still… I mean, going back to China to play is just getting me more ready and prepared for Qatar and Kazakhstan,” said the 32-year-old slotman, who is averaging 11 points and 11 rebounds in the Qualifiers.
Blatche and Gilas will meet again on the 16th in Qatar five days before their clash with the Qataris. And for the 14-year pro, the time before the match will help the Nationals prepared further.
“When we get to Qatar, we’re gonna have two-a-days. So we have time to catch up for it. You know, being there together, away from everybody and having two practices a day, that’s a lot,” shared Blatche, who’s been with Gilas since 2014.
“So we should be definitely prepared.”