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    Blatche insists lack of practice time with PH team not an issue ahead of qualifiers

    Feb 8, 2019
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    THREE practice sessions with the rest of Team Pilipinas isn't the most logical way to prepare for the all-important sixth window, yet for Andray Blatche, he's taking it as he eyes to lead the Philippines in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.

    The naturalized player doesn't think that the lack of preparation time is that much of an issue given him easily blending in with the new pool.

    "It’s coming along great for us. The more we go over the plays, the more it’s becoming, you know, a natural type to us. Everybody’s falling in line, everybody’s working hard. So you know, we’re getting prepared the right way," he said on Thursday.

    Aside from the three practice sessions he had with the national team this week, Blatche has had shootarounds with Rain or Shine and NLEX to familiarize himself with the system since arriving in the country last Friday night.

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      He will still have a chance to continue training with the available players from the pool over the weekend before going back to China on Monday noon.

      For Blatche, though, his stay in China would help him more get in shape before the series of road games against Qatar on Feb. 21 and Kazakhstan on Feb. 24.

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      "When I go back to China, you know, I can still have the plays in the back of my head. It's like a comfort thing. I mean, going back to China to play is just getting me more ready and prepared for Qatar and Kazakhstan," he said.

      Aside from that, the Syracuse-born center is looking forward to reuniting with Gilas Pilipinas in Doha once the team flies to the Middle Eastern country on Feb. 16, where they make their final arrangements for the crucial tiff.

      "When we get to Qatar, we’re gonna have two-a-days. So we have time to catch up for it," he said.

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      "You know, being there, being there together, away from everybody and having two practices a day, that’s a lot. So we should definitely be prepared."

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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