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    Gilas looking for 'young seven-footers' as back-up options for Andray Blatche

    Dec 7, 2016
    Andray Blatche is currently playing for the Xinjiang Tigers in the CBA. Jerome Ascano

    GILAS Pilipinas is looking to lay down a Plan B in case Andray Blatche won’t be available for international play starting next year.

    With the availability of Blatche still up in the air owing to the new Fiba format that will force scheduling conflicts with tournaments and leagues like the Chinese Basketball Association, national team manager Butch Antonio said they will start looking for an alternative naturalized player for Gilas.

    “We have Andray, but sila coach Chot will still have to look for an alternative, for someone who is an another option,” said Antonio, who is also Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy executive director for international affairs.

    National coach Chot Reyes said they are in the process of looking for more than one prospect as backup for the 30-year-old Blatche, who is in the middle of a three-year contract with Xinjiang Tigers in the Chinese pro league.

    “We want to find one or two pretty young seven-footers, pero wala pa,” Reyes said.

    [See Terrence Romeo ready to fight for Gilas spot against youn turks]

    Reyes, back in the national coaching job after giving way to Tab Baldwin at the end of 2014, also said PBA players aren't guaranteed spots in the next Gilas team, saying they will have to compete for spots with the cadets in the pool.

    Among the new additions in the pool are University of the Philippines pair of Jett Manuel and Paul Desiderio, who on Wednesday made it to the UAAP Mythical team.

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    Andray Blatche is currently playing for the Xinjiang Tigers in the CBA. Jerome Ascano
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