CEBU CITY – Slowly but surely, Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Andray Blatche is showing signs of finally ‘rounding into form.’
Of course, no pun intended on that.
The former Brooklyn Net was moving better and showing glimpses of his old form after the fourth day of training here - and a month since arriving for the national team’s training camp overweight and out of shape.
Though still carrying extra poundage, Blatche no longer looked no more than a shadow of the Gilas player who emerged as the second leading scorer in last year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain with a 21.2-point average.
In one particular sequence, Blatche shot-faked veteran big man Asi Taulava out of position and barreled his way inside. With another defender closing the angle, the NBA veteran tip-toed around the side to evade the defense and get the space needed to loft the ball up and in.
Later, Blatche canned a couple of three-pointers including one from the corner to end the scrimmage on a bright note and signal the end of the practice session.
So animated was the Gilas big man that he gave Taulava a ribbing afterwards, before encouraging the rest of his teammates to ‘start doing’ what they always talk about during the post-practice huddle.
The team is set to return to Manila on Friday and leave for China by Monday for the Fiba Asia Championship.