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Blatche maglalaro sa WC qualifiers

MATAGAL-TAGAL na ring hindi nakakasama ng Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team ang naturalized Pinoy na si Andray Blatche.
Pero nangako ang beterano ng NBA na babalik siya sa bansa para tulungan ang Pilipinas sa kampanya nito sa Asian World Cup qualifiers na magbubukas kontra host Japan sa Tokyo sa Nobyembre 24.

“Be back with my brothers real soon to take care of business #puso,” sabi ni Blatche sa kanyang Instagram account.

Huling nakapaglaro para sa bansa ang 31-anyos na si Blatche noon pang Hulyo 2016 para sa Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament.

Inatasan din siyang maglaro para sa Gilas sa 2017 Fiba Asia Cup sa Lebanon pero tumanggi itong maglaro dahil, aniya, hindi masisiguro ang kanyang kaligtasan doon.
Huling naglaro ang 6-foot-11 na si Blatche bilang import ng Xinjiang Flying Tigers sa China Basketball Association.
Pero kahit pa hindi nakakapag-ensayo si Blatche sa koponan ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang paghahanda ng Gilas Pilipinas.

Kasalukuyang nasa Tagaytay ang training pool para sa three-day training camp.
Kabilang sa training pool sina four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Baser Amer, LA Revilla, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, Russel Escoto at 6-foot-8 Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger.
Kasama ng Pilipinas sa Group B ng Asian Qualifiers ang mga bansang Japan, Taiwan at Australia.
Pagkatapos ng laban kontra Japan sa Tokyo ay sasagupain naman ng Pilipinas ang Taiwan sa Smart Araneta Coliseum sa Nobyembre 27.

Injured si Jalalon

Malaking panghihinayang naman ang nararamdaman ni Jio Jalalon na hindi siya mapapabilang sa Gilas Pilipinas dahil kasalukuyan pa siyang nagpapagaling sa tinamong ACL injury.

“I’m already out. I really want to join them, but the doctors advised me to not to,” sabi ni Jalalon.
Sasailalim si Jalalon sa therapy sa susunod na dalawang linggo bago siya payagang makapaglaro.

“I’m just strengthening my knee and following what the PTs tell,” aniya.

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