GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes felt his team made the most of its three-day training camp in Tagaytay despite missing Andray Blatche, with their progress evident in a 96-75 blowout of Rain or Shine in their tune-up game on Thursday.
The national team had expected the naturalized player to arrive in time for the Tagaytay camp, but was delayed as his mother team, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, still required him to play for them in their Chinese Basketball Association game on Friday.
Still, Reyes was pleased with how his team jelled in the camp.
“Very satisfied,” Reyes said. “Unfortunately Andray couldn't join us. That was scheduled to fit to Andray's arrival, but at the last minute he had a problem with his Chinese ballclub. They didn't allow him to leave until after their game on Friday, their game tomorrow. That's for me the only drawback, otherwise it was good.”
With Blatche, who's expected to arrive on Saturday, unable to attend the camp, Reyes is still hard-pressed to decide on his 12-man roster for the first World Cup qualifying match against Japan on November 24 in Tokyo.
“Not yet (decision),” Reyes said. “First of all we have to make sure Andray is here. That's going to impact the final lineup of course if Andray's here. Until he's actually here, we cant really be sure.”
With Terrence Romeo still out due to therapy for his knee, Reyes has one less problem as he chooses among the remaining 14 locals in the pool.
Despite failing to work on their chemistry with Blatche in the camp, Gilas at least honed its outside sniping that was in full display against the Elasto Painters.
“Well, one of the objectives of the Tagaytay camp was to get the volume, a lot of shots up,” Reyes said. “We're always conscious that we have to score because we're expecting the kind of defense Japan will play against us. Thats why we want to make sure we're prepared.”