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    Chot Reyes concerned of Blatche's fitness for Taipei match

    Jun 29, 2018
    Andray Blatche is not yet in game shape.

    TAIPEI – Even though Andray Blatche is not yet in game shape, national coach Chot Reyes is confident the naturalized center will be able to deliver the goods for Gilas Pilipinas against Chinese Taipei on Friday night at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.

    Reyes has expressed concern over Blatche’s fitness as he has not played a competitive game since Gilas Pilipinas played Japan last February at the Mall of Asia Arena. In that game, Blatche had 18 points and 16 rebounds.

    While he remained concern about Blatche’s lack of official games, Reyes said the naturalized Filipino will make an impact when Gilas takes on Chinese Taipei here.

    “We are expecting that he is going to struggle a little bit but hopefully, what he can bring to us can compensate that struggle that we except,” said Reyes.

    Blatche was looking fit when he came into the Philippines early to join Gilas Pilipinas in its preparations against Chinese Taipei, but Reyes was wary Blatche was not in game shape for Friday night’s match.

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    The four straight practices, however, have helped Blatche to somewhat be close to game shape.

    “Andray completely took a break. He has been working out but he hasn’t played an official full game since the Japan game. He is still struggling a little but he looks better and better,” Reyes said.

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    In Gilas’ previous match against Chinese Taipei, Blatch had six points but lorded over the board when he grabbed 14 rebounds last November at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    “But again, we all know that what you do in practice doesn’t necessarily mean anything in game time. We will have to see how quickly he can adopt,” Reyes added.

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