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‘Very low’ morale as Gilas prepares for Fiba Asia sans Blatche

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes admitted that the Philippine team is coming into the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup with low morale with naturalized player Andray Blatche opting to sit out the tourney.

“(Our confidence is) very, very low. I mean, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to fight like hell, but we have to manage expectations,” he said on Thursday as the national team resumed team practices at Upper Deck Gym in Pasig.

Chot Reyes. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
Reyes couldn’t hide his disappointment with Blatche’s decision to beg off from the Asian championship, saying that they were forced to make a move as the July 25 deadline passed without a word from the Syracuse-born big man.

“I think he’s gonna issue a statement soon but there’s absolutely no reason. We waited and we waited, and they couldn’t give a confirmation. The deadline has passed and we had to make that decision,” he said.

Blatche has already aired his side on a brief Instagram post on Wednesday: “I will always be very thankful for the opportunity, the love, and the support I have received from my Filipino family but it’s a lot [sic] of reason why I can’t join. I don’t expect for many people to understand but I do wish my brothers the best of luck.”

Without the 30-year-old big man, the Philippines will be parading Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger in his place as the team’s naturalized player.

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/258190/low-morale-gilas-prepares-fiba-asia-sans-blatche

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