NATURALIZED player Andray Blatche posted on Instagram indicating he’s on his way to the Philippines to join Gilas Pilipinas as it prepares for the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship.
Blatche wrote on his @draylive Instagram account: “And off we go the hardest trip ever gonna miss my family and friends.” The NBA veteran though didn’t specifically mention if he is headed to Manila.
Gilas team manager Butch Antonio confirmed to Spin.ph Blatche is arriving in Manila on Sunday night.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) earlier said Blatche will be arriving to the country within the week to be with the national team honing for the Olympic qualifying tournament set in Changsha, China this September.
The SBP added it hopes to announce the final roster of the Gilas training pool for the FIBA-Asia stint by Monday in time for Blatche’s arrival.
In a reply to Basketball TV’s Jinno Rufino on his Instagram account, Blatche stressed reports that he is not given release papers by his Chinese ballclub Xinjiang Flying Tigers to play for Gilas is ‘not true.’
Blatche’s arrival should be a boost to a Gilas side that has recently been hit by players’ withdrawal with barely two months to train for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic qualifier.