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Blatche rejoins Gilas practice


MANILA — Andray Blatche is officially back to Gilas Pilipinas.

The 6-foot-11 center finally joined the national team practice in an early session at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City on Monday night.

Blatche’s return will be a huge boost for Gilas. The naturalized player, who arrived in the Philippines on Friday, took part in the training led by head coach Yeng Guiao.

Fellow big men Raymond Almazan, Poy Erram, and June Mar Fajardo joined Blatche in practice.

Mark Barroca, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Scottie Thompson also participated in the drills.

Japeth Aguilar and Paul Lee also attended the practice, but they were relegated to observers due to their respective injuries.

Marcio Lassiter and Chris Standhardinger were not in attendance.

Gilas is gearing up for the final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this month.

The Nationals need to sweep their remaining games to have a better chance at making it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Gilas will face Qatar at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club in Doha on February 22 (Philippine Time).

The Philippine basketball team will then take on Kazakhstan on February 24 at the Republican Velodrome in Astana. (PNA)