EVEN Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes was clueless as to why naturalized player Andray Blatche is skipping the Fiba Asia Cup from August 8-20.
Reyes said they waited for a confirmation from the former NBA player's camp before submitting the final lineup, but received no updates up until the deadline.
"I think he's gonna issue a statement soon but there's absolutely no reason," said Reyes shortly after the team wrapped up its first practice for the Fiba Asia Cup and Southeast Asian Games at the Upper Deck gym on Thursday.
"We waited and we waited, they couldn't give a confirmation. The deadline has passed and we had to make that decision," he added.
Citing reliable sources, SPIN.ph earlier reported that the 30-year-old cager is wary about his safety playing in the tournament to be held Beirut, Lebanon.
While he sent his apology through an Instagram post, the real reason for skipping the tournament remains unclear.
With Blatche begging off, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger will reinforce the Filipinos as naturalized player in the tournament where the country wound up second in its last edition in Changsha, China.
Against all odds, Reyes assured the Filipino dribblers will give it their all.
"Very, very low (confidence). I mean we're going to fight. We're going to fight like hell but we have to manage expectations," Reyes said. "I thought we had 12 days practice and right, we have 12 days practice except not with the whole team, hindi kumpleto."
"It's gonna be very, very difficult. But you know these guys. They never quit, they never give up. Hopefully we can spring some surprises come FIBA Asia."