Sunday, August 31, 2014
Andray Blatche confident Gilas Pilipinas will continue to impress
Andray Blatche's debut game for the Philippines will be remembered forever.
After an awful first quarter, he was able to recover and finish the game with 28 points that went along with 12 rebounds as Gilas Pilipinas gave 16th ranked Croatia a scare in the opening game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Though Gilas lost 81-78 in overtime to the Group B favorites, the Filipinos earned the respect of their opponents. Blatche, playing his first FIBA game, had a superb second half transcending his 3-of-13 shooting during the first half.
“Unfortunately we lost today but today’s game confirms how much I trust my teammates," Blatche told Sportando after the game. "We fought until the end against a much stronger opponent and we had also the final shot to win it."
Gilas staged a mighty comeback after trailing by eight at the end of the third period. Blatche registered seven points in the fourth quarter and was the lone Filipino scorer during the extra frame.
"I felt good, we must play again like today without being afraid of our opponents," Blatche added.
The Philippines is scheduled to play Greece tomorrow at 8PM in Sevilla (2AM, September 1, Manila time).
The naturalized Filipino stated that aside from scoring and rebounding his "task is also to give confidence to my teammates."
Blatche hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left in overtime that cut Croatia's lead to one, 79-78, with seven seconds left. But Damjan Rudez took care of two charities to push his team ahead by three. Jayson William Castro then missed a three-point attempt that could have sent the game to a second overtime.
"I am very optimistic for the next games, Philippines will continue to impress as today and we want to make out great fans happier than today.” — Sports Desk Online