Naturalized player Andray Blatche said he’s ready to bombard the Japanese squad with everything he’s got when Gilas takes on Japan on November 24 at the start of the 2017 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Qualifiers at the Komazawa Olympic Park in Tokyo, Japan.
“Numbers are really not my game. It is all about winning. So, if somebody needs to step up on defense, I will play defense. If somebody needs to step up on offense, I’ll step up on offense. The main thing for me is to win,” said Blatche.
The 6’11 former Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets player, who arrived in Manila on Saturday is upbeat on Gilas’ chances to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Baltche stressed that playing on the road is really no issue to him.
“We have a lot of offensive power in this team like quick guards that will lead us. Gabe (Norwood) is also back with us with the new younger guys. I think we have a strong chance. “
“I played this game (basketball) a lot of years and I played a lot on the road. I also won a championship on the road. It’s all about playing defense and the right way,” Blatche told reporters on Sunday evening during Gilas practice at the Araneta Coliseum.
Indicative of his fervor to play for the Philippines, he is already looking forward to 2018 action assuring that he will be available for Gilas when the latter battles Australia on February 22, Japan anew on February 25, Taiwan on June 29 and Australia, again, on July.
“As I look at my situation in China, I feel I would be available because when we have a game or China have a game, they give China a break so they will also give me the same break,” said Blatche, who is also a member of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Blatche said he has no timetable on how long he would stay with Gilas.
“It is not on my mind to say that I’m done. I will keep on playing as long as I can. It is really an honor representing the country.”
The PH 5 is grouped with Australia, Japan and Taiwan in Bracket B in the qualifiers, while China is in Bracket A together with Hong Kong and New Zealand.