GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is relishing the chance to face Andray Blatche in case the Chooks To Go-backed national team and Xinjiang Flying Tigers meet in the Fiba Asia Championship starting next Friday in Chenzhou, China.
Blatche, the Philippines’ naturalized player who didn’t suit up for the country in the Fiba Asia Cup, could turn into a villain for Gilas, which could face Blatche’s mother club, defending champion Xinjiang, in the club tournament.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Reyes said. “I don’t think it’s going to be weird at all. We’re going to go at each other.
“I really look forward to playing against Andray if he does play with the Chinese team,” he added.
The Philippine representative and the Flying Tigers, though, are bracketed in separate groups and can only meet in the playoffs.
“Hopefully, we can get there first,” Reyes said. “We’ll have a chance to get there if we qualify, to get to the playoffs, so we don’t how we’re going to finish – if we can get to the quarterfinals given our short preparation, but it will be a kick.”
National team star Terrence Romeo is wary of facing Blatche.
“Hindi magiging madali pag nakalaban namin si Andray,” Romeo said. “Alam namin kakayahin nya, kaya niya bumuhat ng team eh. Bibigay na namin sa coaching staff kung ano dapat gawin para ma-limit sya, kasi ‘di mo naman masa-stop yun eh.”