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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

In-shape Andray Blatche arrives

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times In-shape Andray Blatche arrives 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Troy Rosario Roger Pogoy Raymond Almazan Matthew Wright Mac Belo Kiefer Ravena Kevin Alas June Mar Fajardo Jayson Castro Japeth Aguilar Gabe Norwood Chot Reyes Carl Cruz Calvin Abueva Andray Blatche Allein Maliksi 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B

Andray Blatche has finally arrived

After a handful of uncertainties over when he would arrive in the Philippines, the naturalized center is now with SMART Gilas, suiting up for the team’s practice on Sunday morning at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

Blatche landed in Manila on Sunday morning, after being cleared by mother team Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. He first played for the ball club last Friday before flying to the Philippines.

The former NBA pro — who was initially expected to arrive a week ago, but failed to do so due to his commitments — appeared to have shed a few pounds, a far cry from the shape he had during the 2017 SEABA Championships last May.

Blatche was joined by Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz, Kevin Alas and Matthew Wright in the morning session.

Gilas veterans Jayson Castro and Calvin Abueva, who both missed yesterday’s tune-up game against NLEX Road Warriors due to back spasms and flu-like symptoms, respectively, also participated in the workouts.

With his arrival, the 6-foot-10 naturalized Filipino slotman will just have five days to get accustomed with his Gilas teammates as their FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers tips off on Friday, November 24, against Japan in Tokyo.

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