Andray Blatche expected to join Gilas on May 2

April 26, 2017 - 2:42 PM
FIBA photo

CAGAYAN DE ORO – Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Andray Blatche is expected to arrive in Manila in early May to reinforce the Philippine national men’s basketball team for the 2017 SEABA Championship.

The former NBA player will join the squad more than a week before the tournament slated on May 12 to May 18 at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“We’re looking at maybe May 1 or 2,” Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said. “Sakto, because by the time we finish the All-Star, we’ll go home Manila May 1. Knowing Chot (Reyes) he might give that day off sa players, so we go back to work full time na sa May 2. That’s the target. Pero everything is OK.”

Antonio, who’s in touch with the Blatche’s handlers, said there’s a possibility that Blatche would arrive even earlier although it’s unlikely for him to play in the PBA All-Star Week which will feature Gilas Pilipinas.

“I was on the line with the handlers this afternoon. Dates na lang inaantay,” added Antonio. “I just told them if we can have him the earlier, the better.

“This week, he might be out of the picture. But May 1 and 2, is his target arrival.”

According to Antonio, Blatche asked the Gilas management to allow him to rest for two weeks after helping the Xinjiang Flying Tigers win the Chinese Basketball Association championship earlier this month.

Blatche is expected to be in great shape when he rejoins Gilas.

“Sanay na tayo. We know how to treat people coming from jet lag and how we make them go up to speed right away,” Antonio said.