Thursday, September 18, 2014
Andray Blatche disappointed over Asian Games ineligibility
Naturalized center Andray Blatche is disappointed over his ineligibility for the 2014 Asian Games, but Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes expects the other members of the team to step up in his place.
"If you're on Twitter, you'll find out how disappointed he is," Reyes said of Blatche, who was a major part of the Philippines' historic run in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
"He even said that he misses his family, the guys, and he really wishes he could be here with us, but we have no control over the eligibility and other things," he added.
"Unfortunately, he cannot be here with us, but he's definitely disappointed."
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) had deemed Blatche ineligible to play for the Philippines in the Asiad, leading the national team to activate Marcus Douthit, Gilas' other naturalized player, for the Incheon Games.
"I don't believe in any single person trying to fill the shoes of any one person," Reyes said. "Every man in this team has to come in and do his part and play his role, because this is more than a one-man team."
"We're not worrying about who's not here. Our only concern is getting the best from everyone," he added.
Reyes noted that one of their key takeaways from their run in the FIBA World Cup was learning how to play with Blatche in the team, but "that goes out the window" as the big man was eliminated.
"It's a good thing that we all know how to play with Marcus, and Marcus knows how to play with us," he said. "That makes the transition easier."
"We just have to go and make do with what we have," Reyes added.
The Asian Games opens on September 19.