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Guiao lauds Blatche for fitting in quickly to his system


Miles Morales

National Team coach Yeng Guiao is impressed with how quick his naturalized player Andray Blatche adjusted to his system.

“He’s picked up on the pace really quick,” Guiao said after the Gilas Pilipinas practice at the Meralco Gym.

Blatche practiced with Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the crucial final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

The former NBA player arrived in the Philippines on Friday, and did not waste his time learning Guiao’s system.

“He was on practice this morning with NLEX. We ran the same plays. And then, on Saturday he practiced with Rain or Shine. We ran the same plays,” Guiao said.

Guiao took over the reigns of coaching the national squad after the infamous Gilas-Boomers rumble last year, which is also Blatche’s last game with the team.

Gilas will play Qatar on Feb. 21 and then travel to Astana for its game against Kazakhstan on Feb. 24 for the final window of the qualifier.

Sitting with a treacherous 5-5 record, Gilas can’t afford to falter in the final window that will decide who the final seven teams that will qualify for basketball’s biggest stage.