ANDRAY Blatche said Gilas Pilipinas needs to play more disciplined basketball if it hopes to make it past the group round of the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Blatche scored a team-high 21 points that went for naught as a Gilas side that stayed within four points of France down to the end lost its poise and fell to the Tony Parker-led France, 77-66, on Tuesday night.
Two errors, including one by Blatche, aided Gilas' late collapse.
Though he lauded the resilient stand against France before a packed crowd that included President Duterte, the naturalized Filipino said he felt the squad didn’t play disciplined enough to be able to pull off an upset.
“We fought hard. We got up by 10 points but we got selfish. We didn’t stick to that 10-point lead. We have to start playing disciplined on offense and defense. France really kept attacking us,” said Blatche in an interview with reporters.
The Philippines committed 10 turnovers in the second half while only dishing out eight assists the entire game.
Gilas Pilipinas now faces a must-win situation on Wednesday night when it goes up against New Zealand, a match which Blatche is confident they can still pull off in front of a rabid home crowd.
“Tomorrow, we just have to win by any means necessary. We still have a game. We must come out and prove to the fans that we still have a chance to go to Rio,” said Blatche.
Jeff Chan shared Blatche’s sentiments.
“Medyo nag-one-on-one. ‘Yung momentum, nawala. Sabi nga ni coach nung third quarter, nawalan kami ng points dahil nag-one-on-one,” said Chan.