CHANGSHA, China – The going gets tough for Gilas Pilipinas as it goes deep into the Fiba Asia Championship competitions.
For Andre Blatche though, facing the region’s top guns, from reigning champion Iran, host China, to the Philippines’ old, bitter rival South Korea, is hardly his concern.
The 6-foot-11 naturalized player is actually thinking more about how Gilas will fare against these powerhouse teams.
“I’m more worried about us. I’m worried about how we’re gonna come out and play hard, how we’re gonna execute, how we’re gonna talk about defense and rebound. That’s what worries me about most,” said the former Brooklyn Nets big man.
The concern of Blatche stemmed from Gilas ‘stunning 75-73 loss to Palestine in the opener of the meet serving as the qualifier to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Gilas blew an 11-point lead in the final five minutes to lose against its unranked opponent.
Blatche though, believed the team’s inability to hit its shots, especially in the homestretch, cost Gilas that game.
Hopefully, that would not happen again as the Filipinos bid to surpass the runner-up finish it achieved during the 2013 edition of the biennial meet.
“When we’re playing together and hitting our shots we’re a tough team. As long as we play with the same effort the rest of the tournament, we’ll be fine,” said Blatche.