SEVEN months removed from the now-infamous brawl against Australia, Andray Blatche reunites with Gilas Pilipinas in his first full practice with the new-look squad early Monday evening at Meralco Gym.
The Syracuse-born naturalized player, who was called up for the sixth and final window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, will get to practice once again with familiar faces like Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar, as well as new faces like Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, and Mark Barroca.
Blatche arrived on Friday night and immediately buckled down to work with a short shootaround on Saturday morning, where he worked with a handful of Rain or Shine players led by Gilas staple Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan.
He has since been working out and even took time to watch the PBA games at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
It will be a tight schedule for the 32-year-old Blatche under the watchful eye of coach Yeng Guiao, with him leaving for China on Feb. 10 to rejoin his Chinese Basketball Association ballclub Tianjin Gold Lions.
The Philippines is on a precarious position heading into the last window of the Asian qualifiers as its 5-5 win-loss record places it fourth in Group F.
Only the top three teams and the best fourth-place team will earn a ticket to the global showcase set to unfold in China come August.