ANDRAY Blatche couldn't be any more overjoyed as he gets a chance to represent the country anew and help the Philippines in its quest to progress to the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
"It's always good to be back home," he professed.
Arriving to the country late Friday night, the 32-year-old naturalized player wasted no time buckling down to work, going on a shootaround on Saturday morning to get familiar with coach Yeng Guiao's system with the help of a handful of Rain or Shine players at the Meralco Gym.
That attitude couldn't be any more welcome as Blatche only has until Feb. 10 to train in the country before going back to China to rejoin his Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) squad Tianjin Gold Lions.
The next time he meets his Gilas teammates will already be in Qatar later this month as the Philippines aim to sweep the sixth window of the Asian qualifiers, especially now with its 5-5 win-loss record in Group F.
"I'm aware about the situation, but we're just gonna go and take care of business. Our offense is always gonna flow. It's more about stopping the other team," he said. "As long as we go out there prepared, and play our game, I'm very confident."
It won't be until Monday before Blatche gets to have practice with the whole Gilas team, but that doesn't mean that he has to sit and wait before rekindling his bond with his fellow national players, with him set to watch the PBA games at Ynares Center in Antipolo later today and at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
"I'm really excited. I'm about to go cover the games tonight and tomorrow, see the guys play on their teams," he said, flashing a wide smile.
"You know, coming back here has always been about family. I love each and every one of these guys on and off the court and I can't wait to see all of them."