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    Fiba snub all water under the bridge now for Guiao, Blatche

    Feb 2, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    A SNUB in the last window is all water under the bridge now for Andray Blatche as he makes his timely return to Team Pilipinas for its final two games in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.

    National coach Yeng Guiao allayed fears of a testy relationship between him and the naturalized player, saying the Syracuse-born center is all-in for the Philippines' quest to make it to the World Cup in China come August.

    "We didn't even discuss that because I didn't even feel it. Di ko naramdaman na may tampo siya or it's an issue," said Guiao, who left out the former NBA player in the last window of the qualifiers.

    "I think we're all professionals and that's something na siguro, it's better left from the judgment of everyone kasi kung papansinin o pag-uusapan pa natin, it might just be a distraction. It's not going to help. That's been processed anyway."

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      The Philippines is currently carrying a 5-5 win-loss card in the second round of the Asian qualifiers, sitting at fourth place in Group B. Only the top three teams and the best fourth-ranked team will earn a ticket to the World Cup.

      Guiao said Blatche fully understands the gravity of the situation Gilas is in, the reason he's making up for lost time after finally serving his three-game ban stemming from the now-infamous brawl against Australia back in July.

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      "We talked last night over dinner when he arrived and he understands the urgency of the situation. He gave me the assurance that he will do his best to get us in the World Cup," said the fiery mentor, who will handle the former NBA player for the first time in the national team.

      That's why for Guiao, there's no point bringing up Blatche's sentiments from the tumultuous fifth window as everything is fine between them.

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      "The mere fact that he's here, the mere fact that he's committed to play his best and get us to the World Cup, it's useless na pag-usapan pa yun," he said.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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