Naturalized Filipino player Andray Blatche assured his local fans that he would be fit to play with the Gilas Pilipinas team in the 28th FIBA Asia Championship in China this September, which is also an Olympic qualifying event.
“I just need the whole month of August and I’ll be ready. I will train hard starting tonight [Monday],” Blatche told reporters during a Gilas practice session. “It is good to be back. I’m excited.”
Gilas coach Tab Baldwin is holding on to the 6’11 Blatche’s words, “He [Blatche] is not in his usual game shape and he’s a little bit overweight but he told me that he just need a few weeks or a month to be in his usual playing shape,” Baldwin told The Manila Times in an interview during the team’s practice at the Meralco gym.
Baldwin added that he believes in the former Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards’ commitment.
“He [Blatche] is very committed just like the rest of his teammates that’s why I’m not worried. We will have a practice this morning and then later in the evening. The players and Blatche will soon blend in before the Olympic qualifying. That’s our official tournament so far this year.”
Meanwhile, Baldwin revealed that Talk ‘N Text’s forward Kelly Williams’ injured his right knee during practice and he is still waiting for the result of the medical exam conducted by the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
“It looks worse but I’m hoping it’s not that too serious,” said Baldwin.