Chot Reyes pencils June 9 arrival for Andray Blatche - then keeps fingers crossed
Andray Blatche has vowed to be in good shape for the third window of Fiba World Cup qualifying. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is expecting Andray Blatche to arrive by June 9, or 20 days before the third window of the qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.

Fingers crossed.

"Right now, it's June 9, pero alam naman natin si Andray. Baka plus 10 days yun, so baka 19," Reyes, who has gotten used to Blatche's delayed arrivals, scoffed on Monday after Gilas practice.

Reyes, though, is Blatche honors his word and arrives on Saturday, which would give Team Philippines a little less than three weeks to prepare for the last leg of the first round of the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers.

"Hopefully, he comes in by June 9," he said.

According to the Gilas coach, Blatche has been rigourously training in the United States and has vowed to be in better condition after subpar performances in the first two qualifying windows.

The Syracuse-born bruiser has averaged 11.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in the four games he played in the Asian qualifiers, where the Philippines went 3-1 to sit in second place in Group B.

"He's been working out in Atlanta religiously and we expect him to come in a better shape," said Reyes.

Gilas Pilipinas braces for Chinese Taipei on June 29, before finishing the first round against Australia on July 2 at Philippine Arena.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @dolphtrythis