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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Yeng Guiao looking to maximize time while Andray Blatche is in Manila


Andray Blatche had possibly his last regular practice with Gilas Pilipinas, Thursday evening.

The naturalized center is set to fly back to China on Monday, February 11, to fulfill his obligations with mother team Tianjin Gold Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association. Tianjin currently sports a 9-29 record.

And so, Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao is looking to maximize his time with Blatche before he leaves.

“Gumagawa kami ng paraan. Monday pa naman siya aalis,” said Guiao, moments after Thursday’s practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig. “So Saturday, what we’ll try to do is put together five or six guys, kahit ‘di kami makabuo ng buong team.

“Gusto lang namin at least five para maitakbo namin yung mga plays namin, maski five-and-0 drills lang,” he furthered.

“Saturday and Sunday malamang ganun na lang gawin namin bago siya umalis.”

Blatche may be leaving on Monday, but those left will continue working. The FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers’ sixth window will commence exactly two weeks from now, or when they face Qatar on the road on the 21st.

And that is why Guiao is keen on running practices daily next week before they fly to Qatar on the 16th.

“Ang problema kasi talaga, naka-straddle sila between two systems: their mother team’s system and the national team system. ‘Pag ganun ang situation, tapos kokonti practice time, that is the cause of confusion in running the system.

“So sabi ko nga what I’ll try to do from Monday on, we will request that we practice everyday kahit wala na si Andray,” Guiao said.

#ReadMore  Andray Blatche unfazed going up against loaded Australia

“At least yung mga locals lang natin, yung mga regular payers natin, mailayo na natin ng konti dun sa sistema ng mga mother teams nila para lang maka-focus sila sa plays muna ng national team,” added the decorated mentor.

“With or without Andray, we will try to bring together the team next week. If we can do that every day, we will try to do that every day.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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