MANILA, Philippines – In Andray Blatche’s apology statement to Gilas Pilipinas and Australia, he immediately thought about his son AJ, whom he doesn’t want to see following his footsteps – worsening the bench-clearing brawl between Philippines and Australia on Monday, July 2.
“I wanna apologize to my [teammates] and the Australia team for my wrong doings. I have a son and that’s not [what] I want him to follow behind,” wrote Blatche on the note he posted on Instagram.
Blatche was remorseful as he posted the photo with the caption: “Sorry to my Filipino family, Australia, my family back home and my son.”
Just like Japeth Aguilar and Gabe Norwood, the center also admitted that tensions were high in the game that caused their emotions to get the better of them.
Blatche was among the 9 Gilas players who were ejected from the game as he tried to protect Roger Pogoy by pushing away Daniel Kickert. However, the New Yorker also clobbered Nathan Sobey as the brawl went on.
“Can’t stop thinkng about last [night’s] game. The way we reacted was only to protect our brother. That’s how we are as a team, [a] family.”
“Wrong decisions [were] made in the heat of the moment. It was a very high intensity game with a lot of emotions. That fight and all our actions [are] not what me [nor] my brothers stand for.”
Blatche was also one of the players who posed for the “controversial” selfie initiated by Marc Pingris. He ran from the corner of the court and pulled Norwood by his side to join the picture taking.
“For anyone who knows us, we are a happy, goofy group of guys.”
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes was once upset with Blatche for moving his flight too close to the 2017 SEABA Championships because of the birth of his son.
However, the two have patched things up together as Reyes even defended Blatche from social media backlash during the Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Japan in the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. – Rappler.com