|Andray Blatche spectated one PBA game during his practice days with Gilas. Now, a possibility of him playing in the league becomes imminent. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY—For Coach Yeng Guiao, if a Philippine Basketball Association stint will make Andray Blatche more ready for the FIBA World Cup, then the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas can go for it.
"I think that's the most logical conclusion," said the Gilas Pilipinas mentor, who also serves as the head coach of NLEX in the league.
For Blatche to embrace Guiao's system more quickly, the latter brought the former to his club's practices during his brief stay here during Gilas' training.
The trick worked as Blatche returned to the national team with a bang and helped the squad beat Qatar and Kazakhstan on the road in the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
"In this window, in my opinion, palagay ko he played his best basketball among all the windows that he played in," Guiao lauded Blatche.
Blatche put up a solid all-around performance in his comeback game at Qatar, while he dropped 41 points at Kazakhstan.
Nelson Beltran of The Philippine Star first reported that the 6-foot-11 naturalized forward could play for either the Road Warriors under Guiao himself or the TNT KaTropa in the PBA Commissioner's Cup as soon as his stint with the Tianjin Golden Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association is done.
Guiao confirmed on Monday night that the said move is being considered right now.
"Pag-uusapan pa yan. Di pa namin yan nafa-finalize, pero isang possibility pa rin yan," he said.
Guiao, Blatche, and the rest of Gilas Pilipinas returned home following a successful road trip in Doha and Astana that earned the team a spot in the FIBA World Cup later this year in China.
Hundreds of Gilas fans, while they were waiting for their loved ones, got an impromptu meet-and-greet opportunity with the Nationals as they arrived at around 10 p.m. at the NAIA Terminal 3.
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