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FIBA World Cup qualifiers: Chot defends Blatche after sluggish performance

MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche was clearly far from his dominant self during Gilas Pilipinas' first two games of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

Against both Japan and Chinese-Taipei in the first window of games, Blatche took time to get his rhythm on both offense and defense, and committed plenty of turnovers. A proven scorer who has lifted Gilas offensively in the past, Blatche averaged only 9.5 points per game for the Philippines in those two games.

While Andray Blatche needs to be better on offense, he has been solid, if not stellar, for Gilas Pilipinas on defense. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports
His sluggish play was especially noticeable in the first half of the Philippines' game against Chinese-Taipei on Monday at Araneta Coliseum. He managed only six points on 2-of-6 shooting, and was repeatedly beaten to the rim by Chinese Taipei counterpart Quincy Davis III.

Yet Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes came to Blatche's defense following the game, one that the Philippines won 90-83 following a superb outing by their second unit and another takeover by Jayson Castro in the fourth.

"Blatche may have played a bad offensive game, but I thought he played good defense for us in the second half," said Reyes. "In the first half, Quincy Davis was getting his way on Andray, but he tightened up in the second half."

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/11/28/17/fiba-world-cup-qualifiers-chot-defends-blatche-after-sluggish-performance

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