SMART Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes was pleased to see Andray Blatche — and not just because he had finally arrived for another tour of duty with Gilas.
Blatche is here with a much better physique compared to the last time they met.
“He looks good. Kasi ang comparison ko noong nagkita kami sa China, where he was really out of shape then,” Reyes said on Sunday morning after Gilas’ workouts, recalling their meeting last September in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
“He had a great game [in the CBA with Xinjiang Flying Tigers] — he had 26 and 13 the last game, and another 24 and 12 in the previous game playing 30-32 minutes. So he’s in pretty good shape based on those,” he added.
However, the outspoken mentor admitted that the team’s practice flow was interrupted due to the naturalized 6-foot-11 slotman’s arrival, as they had to let Blatche get accustomed to the system once more.
“We had to go very slowly. We basically had to go to almost square one kasi we did some things he’s just picking up now,” said Reyes, “But you know, it is what it is. That’s why we’re going to have two practices today just to catch him up.”
Now, is he finally relieved over Blatche’s arrival, Reyes was asked.
“No,” he responded.
“I will only be relieved if we win.”
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