ANDRAY Blatche sent his heartfelt well wishes to Team Pilipinas on the eve of its crucial game against Kazakhstan to open the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
But at the same time, the naturalized player admitted his heart is still bleeding over his non-inclusion in the current 20-man training pool which he blamed to ‘political infighting.’
“Let’s continue to support the Gilas team because I know how hard they work to bring basketball glory to their countrymen,” said the naturalized player on his Instagram account, which has so far gotten 3,900 likes as of post time.
And then came his obvious disappointment.
“Let’s ignore the political infighting among basketball leaders which sometimes leads to poor decisions,“ he stressed. “The players play with heart and deserve your full support.
“Always proud to play for my country,” he ended his short statement.
Blatche is coming off a three-game suspension slapped by FIBA for his involvement in the Philippines-Australia brawl during the third window of the qualifiers.
He was eligible for selection for the game against Iran but was left out as national coach Yeng Guiao opted instead for Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle.
The 32-year-old former NBA player said the non-selection was handled in a very ‘unprofessional way,' adding it was not the way to handle 'someone like me who has so much invested in the Gilas program.'
“I must admit I was very hurt by how carelessly I was discarded by the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas),” said Blatche in an official statement released by his handler Theia Sports.
“Over the last couple of years, I’ve been wondering if my loyalty and passion to win for my country is reciprocated,” he added.
Nonetheless, Blatche said he’s still ready to play for the country if his services will be needed.
“Always proud to play for my country,” he ended his latest statement.