ISAIAH Austin hasn't played a single game against Andray Blatche. And while he has a lot of respect for the Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player, he takes it as a big challenge going up against him if ever their paths meet in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
The 23-year-old Austin said he's definitely ready against Blatche as he leads the Chooks To Go-Pilipinas team in the Sept. 22-30 meet in Chenzou, China.
Blatche, who's been Gilas' naturalized player since 2014, will be suiting up for China Kashgar, the defending champion of the Champions Cup.
Chooks To Go and China Kashgar are bracketed in the same group, and their possible clash could come in either the semifinals or the finals itself.
If ever, Austin said he's ready for Blatche and Co.
"It's always exciting to be able to play against great competition. And as a basketball player, I was taught not to back down against anybody," said the 7-foot-1 Austin during the official presentation of the Chooks To Go roster to the Champions Cup on Tuesday at the Discovery Suites Hotel.
"I played against the best and I always held my own, somehow some ways," he added. "So when it’s time for us to match up, I'm gonna play hard. That's all I can do."
Austin and Blatche haven't played against each other, although Isaiah admitted watching Andray's games especially when he was still in the NBA.
"I've seen a lot of his NBA games, I know his style of play," he said of Blatche, who previously suited up for Washington and Brooklyn.
"He's a very, very crafty player. A very good post-up player."
Austin is a good student of the game and by merely watching Blatche play, the Baylor standout hopes to learn a lot from the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.
"Whenever I can, I study films of a lot of players. And I can definitely learn a lot of things watching him play," added Austin.