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Blatche makes Gilas practice return

Andray Blatche rejoined the national team practice. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Andray Blatche officially made his way back to Gilas Pilipinas.

The 6-foot-11 center finally joined the national team practice in an early session on Monday night at the Meralco Gym.

The naturalized player, who arrived in the Philippines on Friday, took part in the training led by Head Coach Yeng Guiao.

Fellow big men Raymond Almazan, Poy Erram, and June Mar Fajardo joined Blatche in practice.

Mark Barroca, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Scottie Thompson also participated in the drills.

Japeth Aguilar and Paul Lee also attended the practice, but they were relegated to observers due to their respective injuries.

Marcio Lassiter and Chris Standhardinger were not in attendance.

Gilas is gearing up for the final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this month.

The Nationals need to sweep their remaining games to have a better chance of making the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Gilas will face Qatar at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club in Doha on Feb. 22 (Philippine Time).

The Philippine basketball team will then take on Kazakhstan on Feb. 24 at the Republican Velodrome in Astana.

Blatche’s return will be a huge boost for Gilas.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno