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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Yeng Guiao looks to bring Andray Blatche to NLEX practices anew



Tiebreaker Times Yeng Guiao looks to bring Andray Blatche to NLEX practices anew 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Yeng Guiao Gilas Pilipinas Men Andray Blatche 2019 FIBA World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao expressed satisfaction with how Andray Blatche appeared in his first practice back with the national team Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

“Andray’s first day is good. I remember he came here for the last window, World Cup, he’s about the same shape,” said the decorated mentor moments after the over-an-hour session.

Blatche arrived just last Saturday, and the naturalized center’s arrival only brings good news to Gilas as they can finally prepare for the 2019 FIBA World Cup with him in the fold.

But for Guiao, though he is already satisfied with what he has seen, the early arrival of Blatche is also an opportunity to get the former NBA player in a much better shape heading into the Worlds.

“We have more time to put him into better shape,” said Guiao.

“Mas mahaba yung panahon nating mag-prepare. So we’re looking forward for him to get even better and sharper and quicker.”

However, the Filipino dribblers are still doing twice-a-week sessions and will do so until August.

So for now, Guiao is planning to have the 6-foot-11 slotman join the NLEX Road Warriors’ practices again to speed up his familiarity with the system, as well as put him into a better shape.

“We’ll try to find a way to get him extra days to practice. Ang NLEX kasi naka-bakasyon kami. Monday pa kami mag-eensayo, but as soon as we start, we’ll bring him to our practices also.

“So we should be able to start practicing on a daily basis either with Gilas or with NLEX by next week,” he said.

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Now that Blatche has arrived, Guiao calls on the other Gilas players to put in extra effort in attending practices.

“We’re asking the rest of the guys to make an effort. I know they’re in their important stages of the playoffs, but that’s part of the sacrifice,” said the outspoken bench tactician.

“What’s important is we need to have at least ten to twelve players every practice so we can go up and down and practice offense and defense. Kung kulang kami ang hirap mag-practice,” he continued.

“So we’ll make an extra effort to appeal to these guys to be in practice so that we can have the proper number of people coming in.”