As Gilas tries to gather players for practice, Andray Blatche gets used to new system

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers SPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsFor starters, Andray Blatche is back in the fold.“We are getting there,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “We are getting better chemistry, as Andray is getting more familiar with the plays.” Guiao also noted that Blatche is on borrowed time with the Philippine quintet as he is still professionally committed to the Tianjin Golden Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association. Blatche is due to return to China on Feb. 11 and stay there until the Feb. 16.“His time here is so short, and the other players are limited as well as they still have to contend with the PBA schedule,” Guiao added.Guiao had been trying to curb the training limitations by having Blatche join Rain or Shine and NLEX’s respective practice sessions.The Nationals were supposed to lock horns Alab Pilipinas in a tune-up game Tuesday night in a bid to further work around the constraints, but the plan fizzled out.“We just have to work with the limitations,” Guiao said.“Everybody knows the importance of these next two games. I know all my teammates know how bad we need this next win. So it’s a do-or-die for us,” Blatche said.“I know we’re going to give our all and leave everything on the court and come home with the two wins.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carl Bryan Cruz comes to the rescue of ailing Aces In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title And aside from the naturalized big man visibly fitter than the last time he played for the country, Guiao said Blatche is acclimating well with the team—one that is comprised of new teammates and is implementing a totally different system.“I think he’s very comfortable with the plays now. We are trying to keep everything simple,” Guiao said of Blatche, who had been a fixture in the many iterations of Chot Reyes’ national team.“His offense is more of going off-instinct, you know,” Blatche said of his new coach. “[You] just got to be in the right spots at times and then after that, you just play basketball.”“You know this is I think my third day here where I’m going over offense every day. So it’s coming to me easy,” he added.“It’s like clockwork because I know what guys on this court are capable of doing and I know which guys are shooters, which guys are the slashers,” Blatche said. “His offense, like I said, is based off just knowing your teammate and knowing what they’re gonna do next and instinct. And that actually works out in my favor.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Andray Blatche practices with Gilas Pilipinas. Photo by Mark Giongco/INQUIRER.betNational coach Yeng Guiao and Gilas Pilipinas are looking at two must-win road games against Qatar and Kazakhstan in the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifying round.And to add to their worries, they are again dealing with player availability during practices.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history “I’m very concerned, because can you imagine, the only time we’ll see them compete [as a unit] is in the games itself,” Guiao told reporters on Tuesday, shortly after the team’s second straight practice at Meralco Gym. “[T]hat’s a big concern.”Though for Guiao, there’s still something to be optimistic about ahead of their matches on Feb. 22 and 24.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more