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    Andray Blatche still hoping for Gilas call as he settles with Mighty stint

    Jan 14, 2020
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    THROUGH it all, Andray Blatche remains a Filipino by heart.

    The 33-year-old naturalized center insisted that he'll always be ready to represent the Philippines whenever the country needs him.

    "Definitely, 100-percent," he said on Tuesday.

    Blatche had a forgettable stint the last time he wore Gilas Pilipinas colors, failing to lead the squad to a victory as the Philippines finished dead last among 32 teams in the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.

    Even Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio publically said that the World Cup stint was the last time Gilas would utilize Blatche, opting to move forward and proceed with plans of forming a pool of naturalized players.

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      But the Syracuse-born center, who had stints with the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets, remains steadfast that he will get one last run with the national team.

      That's why when Mighty Sports came calling, he had no second thoughts in accepting the offer.

      Continue reading below ↓

      "Absolutely not. No hesitation," said Blatche, who will be tasked to lead the youth-laden Philippine crew in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament. "I didn't say no and I was excited."

      Despite all the criticism Blatche got for his play for Gilas, the 6-foot-11 banger reiterated that all he has for the Philippines is love, relishing the passion the nation has for the sport that brought him to our shores.

      Continue reading below ↓

      "It's always great to be back. I love it here for years. I love the support of the fans and the love I get," he said.

      Whether or not he gets that phone call, Blatche said that he'll always support Gilas Pilipinas, especially with the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers looming in February.

      "I'm excited for it," he said. "Anything to do with the Philippine flag, I'm all for it."

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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