To see is to believe: Baldwin wants to see Blatche in practice before judging fitness
Andray Blatche looks in much better shape compared to when he joined the team last year for the Fiba Asia Championship obviously overweight and out of shape. Jaime Campos

GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said the jury is still out on Andray Blatche's fitness after he showed up for Gilas Pilipinas practice for the first time on Saturday ahead of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Blatche arrived late Friday night to rejoin Gilas in a closed-door practice at the Kerry’s Gym at the Shangri-La The Fort where Fil-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson also participated in the drills.

Baldwin admitted Blatche “looks better” compared to when he joined the team last year for the Fiba Asia Championship overweight and out of shape. But he prefers to see the naturalized player in practice before passing judgment.

“Can’t judge that,” said Baldwin in an ambush interview with reporters before the start of practice. "He looks better and he seems there is more light in his eyes. We’ll see until he gets down and start running around."

“He seems happy and he seems ready to go,” said Baldwin.

[See Concern over Blatche fitness eased as he arrives looking in shape for Gilas training]

Baldwin said Blatche will only be observing in his first day of practice as he wants the former NBA player to recover after a long plane trip.

"He is tired, obviously after a long trip, he is tired so I don’t know. He is very enthusiastic. We are not going to let him go today. I want to get him over the trip and get his legs back,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin also expects Blatche to slowly round into top form.

“Tomorrow morning, he’ll go as good as he feels and talk to him by Monday, we think he should be ready to go full speed,” said Blatche.

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