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    Andray Blatche finally hooks up with Gilas team as NBA vet due for brief Manila visit  

    Jun 7, 2014

    BROOKLYN Nets center Andray Blatche is set to arrive on Sunday morning in Manila in his first visit to the country since being tapped to reinforce Gilas Pilipinas in two major international tournaments as a naturalized player.

    Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes broke the news on his official Twitter account @coachot on Saturday morning.

    "He's on the plane. Arriving tom, 10 a.m. @drayblatche is coming to town," Reyes announced.

    Moments later, the 6-foot-11 Blatche, replied with a short tweet.

    “Kumusta Manila #LabaPilipinasPuso! @coachot.” Blatche wrote on his Twitter account @drayblatche.

    To which Reyes replied, "AYOS! C u soon Dray!."

    The national coach later told that the NBA veteran will be here for two to three days only as he hopes to meet with congressmen and senators who made possible the passing of the bill making Blatch a naturalized Filipino. 

    Reyes and the rest of the Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas (SBP) is hopeful Blatche can reinforce the national team to the Fiba-World Cup in Spain this August and the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea in September.

    The bill granting Blatche to become a naturalized Filipino is just awaiting President Aquino’s signature.

    Blatche is fresh from his stint with the Nets, who exited the NBA playoffs after bowing to defending champion Miami Heat in five games in their semifinal series.

    The 27-year-old Blatche averaged 6.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 12 postseason games.

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