ANDRAY Blatche couldn’t be any happier to have his loving mother Angela Oliver beside him on this special occasion.
The Blatche matriarch was at ringside of the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Mother’s Day to watch his son lead Gilas Pilipinas to a 106-51 rout of Malaysia in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship on Sunday night.
The 30-year-old Blatche led the national side in scoring for the first time in three outings, finishing with 13 points to go with eight rebounds, and five assists as Gilas joined Indonesia atop the standings with a 3-0 record.
During the team warm-up, the Gilas naturalized player proceeded to where his mom was sitting and greeted her a Happy Mother’s Day by giving her flowers and a warm hug.
It was all he needed to get his game going.
“Everything feels like its normal. My mom has been supporting me since I was young,” the NBA veteran said after the match.
“My mom is always there for me,” he added. “She always watches the games, and she always supports me.”
It was the first time Blatche’s mother came over to the Philippines.
The 6-foot-11 Blatche has always been close to his mother. There was even a time he had to return to the US at the height of Gilas' preparations for the 2015 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship just to attend to his mom who was then battling breast cancer.
Asked about her condition, Blatche curtly replied, ‘Yes, she’s fine.”
Blatche and the rest of the team dedicated the game to their respective mothers as coach Chot Reyes revealed during his post-game interview.
“Today was all about our mothers. I told the team before the game to play in a way that would make their mothers proud. It’s very apt that we played this game today during Mother’s Day,” said the Gilas mentor.
“That’s why people got some roses, and make it an opportunity for the players, well, for everyone in the team to show their appreciation to the people who brought them to this world.
"Hopefully we were able to play in a way that would make all of our mothers proud. That was the entire theme of our game tonight.”