TEAM Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao wants to have Andray Blatche in the country by mid-January in preparation for the final window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Guiao said the team needs the naturalized Filipino center to train with the team for a full month as the Philippines gets ready for the matches against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 24.
“By mid-January, gusto namin nandito na. Gusto namin one month preparation,” said Guiao.
Blatche is set to rejoin Gilas Pilipinas after not making the 12-man line-up in the previous window where the Filipinos lost to Kazakhstan and Iran at home.
Guiao plans to hold practices with the national team as early as possible heading into the crucial stretch of the qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup.
Since the national team will be unable to practice every day early in the preparation, Guiao also plans to have Blatche join NLEX practices in order for him to get accustomed to his system.
“Of course, we can’t practice everyday with the national team. What we want to do is in January, kung kaya naming mag-practice ng once or twice a week, practice kami,” Guiao said.
“Then in the meantime, so that he is able to learn our system, he will practice with NLEX para nakukundisyon din siya everyday. Hindi natin siya puwedeng praktisin ng twice a week lang eh. That’s the arrangement,” said Guiao.