Baldwin reveals Blatche went on strict diet to regain match fitness

Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Slowly but surely, Andray Blatche is regaining his 2014 form that powered Gilas' FIBA World Cup campaign.

Blatche had his best game this year as the Philippine national team's beanpole in the squad's final Master Game Face MVP Cup match against Chinese Taipei, where he tallied a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach Tab Baldwin, however, revealed something that the former Brooklyn Nets player did after attending his uncle's funeral in the United States just to re-attain his past match fitness.

"He literally was on a soup-and-salad diet for the last seven or eight days. I was surprised he took that instruction on board. It wasn't imposed on him. He did it voluntarily," the Gilas mentor confessed to the press after the team's walloping of Chinese Taipei.

Baldwin also admitted that the food-wise gamble on Blatche somehow backfired.

"He had no energy. None for this cup. That's not because he's out of shape. It's because there's nothing going in the fuel tank," he evaluated the American reinforcement's stamina during the entire pocket tournament.

But seeing his dedication to get back into form, Baldwin rewarded Blatche with his first full meal after a week.

The coach narrated, "Today, I told him at lunch, 'Eat something.'"

Overall, Baldwin lauded Blatche for putting the hard work.

“He’s working on it, and he has the right attitude about working on it,” Baldwin described Blatche's effort.