Blatche back as Gilas boosts buildup for FIBA World Cup

Andray Blatche buckles down to work with the Philippine team with less than two months to go before the 2019 FIBA World Cup begins

Delfin Dioquino

Published: 6:39 PM July 15, 2019

Updated: 6:39 PM July 15, 2019

DRAY BACK. Andray Blatche returns to Gilas Pilipinas. Photo by Delfin Dioquino/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas is back at full strength as naturalized player Andray Blatche practiced with the national team again on Monday, July 15 – less than two months before the 2019 FIBA World Cup comes off the wraps.

The former NBA player, who arrived in the country on Saturday, July 13, was met with hugs and handshakes from his teammates with the Filipinos nearing the crucial stretch of their preparations for the global hoops showdown. 

Joining Blatche in practice were Kiefer Ravena, Marcio Lassiter, Matthew Wright, Beau Belga, Roger Pogoy, Gabe Norwood, Mark Barroca, Raymond Almazan, CJ Perez, and Robert Bolick.

June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and Paul Lee were also present but were in street clothes. 

The Philippines will face Serbia, Italy, and Angola in the first round of the World Cup, which will be staged in multiple cities in China starting August 31. –