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Blatche still keen on playing for Gilas
Andray Blatche of Gilas Pilipinas in this file photo. | FIBA.com
MANILA, Philippines – Andray Blatche is still keen on playing for Gilas Pilipinas as its naturalized player in the coming major FIBA tournaments.
Blatche, who had stints with Team Phl in the 2014 World Cup, 2015 FIBA Asia Championship and in the 2016 FIBA Olympic qualifier, hinted his intention to be with the soon-to-be-formed new Gilas team in reaction to an Instagram post by returning Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
Reyes posted a FIBA photo of Jason Castro, and mentioned "The Blur" as the best point guard in Asia.
Using his own Instagram account @draylive, Blatche wrote: “@jaywill_17 (Castro) come on back and while yal at it bring back Blatche."
New SBP president Al Panlilio has said that among their plans is to put up a pool of at least two to three naturalized players so they will always have an available naturalized center in the new home-and-away-games format of FIBA competitions.
But Panlilio also said they're still considering to bring back Blatche, a nine-year NBA veteran now strutting his stuff in the Chinese league.
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Blatche is the second Gilas naturalized player after Marcus Douthit. In the NCC program of Ambassador Danding Cojuangco, then coach Ron Jacobs also utilized naturalized players in Dennis Still Jeff Moore and Chip Engelland.