ALREADY undermanned, Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 program is faced with another challenge as naturalized center Andray Blatche missed the last two practices of the team because of a right groin injury.
The injury came at the worst time for Blatche, who is still in the process of regaining his condition after being away from basketball for quite some time because he had to attend to his mother Angela Oliver, who is battling cancer.
The former NBA player is set to go to a hospital to undergo an examination on Tuesday.
“Got some aches and bruises. I am going to the doctor tomorrow hopefully it’s nothing. I’ve been practicing hard,” said Blatche, who was seen limping on the court whenever he tries to join the huddle of coach Tab Baldwin.
The former Washington Wizard bared that he sustained the injury during Gilas’ practice last Friday and has been slowed down ever since.
“I just hope it’s nothing, I can’t say if it’s a setback or not, I am seeing the doctor tomorrow,” he said while insisting that everything will depend on the findings of his doctors at his scheduled check-up Tuesday morning.
Blatche is left to seek prayers from fans.
“I just wanted them to pray for me and hope that this is something minor that I can go back to the court as soon as possible,” he said.
Blatche’s injury now brings to three the players sidelined from the 19-man pool. Ranidel De Ocampo still unable to join practices because of painful hamstring while Kelly Williams suffered an MCL injury during Gilas’ practice last August 3.
JC Intal also missed one practice session due to a sprained ankle.
With Blatche out, veteran slotmen Asi Taulava and Sonny Thoss had to play extra minutes in practice as they had to pitch in for the roles of Blatche and De Ocampo in the drills.
“We’ve got some lame bodies, but we got Sonny and Asi doing a hell of a job tonight, without any subs they went through most of the practice. We’re gonna take care of that,” said Baldwin.
Watch VIDEO of Blatche in practice: