Gilas urged to step up with Andray Blatche out of FIBA Asia Cup

July 26, 2017 - 4:54 PM
FIBA photo

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials urged Gilas Pilipinas to do its best in the FIBA Asia Cup even without naturalized player Andray Blatche.

Blatche wasn’t part of the squad’s 12-man lineup for the tournament. He reportedly opted not to join due to security issues in host country Lebanon.

Despite that, SBP chairman and Sen. Sonny Angara is optimistic that the players called up by coach Chot Reyes will step up to the challenge.

“It’s a big loss for the team since Dray is one of the most dominant players in Asia,” Angara said. “Hopefully, our other big men can step up in his absence.”

The SBP also understands Blatche’s decision.

“I am not disappointed with Andray, although we waited for him until the deadline and didn’t get confirmation,” SBP president Al Panlilio said.

Blatche has apologized for not being able to make it, and wished “my brothers the best of luck” in the tournament.