Chot Reyes assures Andray Blatche still part of Gilas pool for Australia, Japan matches
Andray Blatche is set to join Gilas in the second window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers. Jerome Ascano

QUESTIONS inevitably arose when Chot Reyes announced his 15-man pool on Thursday night for the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers where Gilas Pilipinas will play Australia and Japan over a three-day period in February.

The most pestering question was: Is Andray Blatche still part of the Gilas pool?

Seeing the questions on our comments section, we decided to ask Reyes, who didn't include the name of Blatche when he posted the names of the 15 players, led by old guards Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood and Calvin Abueva, on his official Twitter account. 

Reyes was quick to assure that Blatche is still very much part of the pool and the only reason his name wasn't included in the tweet was because the Gilas' longtime naturalized player isn't expected to attend the team's Monday-only practices beginning on Jan. 8.

"Di naman s'ya pwede sa Monday-only practices," the longtime national coach told

But yes, Reyes insisted Blatche is still very much part of the Gilas plans, even if the former NBA player has caused some anxiety and frayed nerves over his delayed arrivals for Gilas training ahead of the November qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.

A reported hamstring injury has also put into question Blatche's availability for the second qualifying window where Gilas will play Australia (Feb. 22) and Japan (Feb. 25).

But at the moment, Blatche is still the man for Gilas.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph