Blatche on not suiting up against Chooks to Go: 'I can’t play against my Filipino people'
MANILA, Philippines - More than just meeting a Chinese club in a knockout quarterfinal in the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup, Filipino hoops fans were looking forward to an exciting clash that would have witnessed the country’s longtime naturalized player Andray Blatche go up against Isaiah Austin and the rest of the Chooks to Go Pilipinas.
Instead, spectators were treated to a show where Blatche opted to trade his China Kashgar jerseys for sweats－ and the Philippine team’s hopes of advancing further came crashing down with an 86-70 loss against the defending champions on Thursday, September 28.
A photo posted by the tournament’s official Twitter account two days ago made rounds on the web as it appeared to display Blatche paying homage to the Philippine national anthem.
The respect seemed to have carried on during game day as Blatche revealed the reason why he did not play against Chooks to Go.
“I can’t play against my Filipino people,” bared Blatche according to an article by Sports 5.
Going to war sans Blatche didn't cost the Chinese club team much as it notched the all-important quarterfinal victory in the quest of defending the Champions Cup title.
Led by Darius Adams and Mugadaer Xirelijiang, who chipped in 23 and 20 points, respectively, China Kashgar pulled away from the third frame much to the delight of the home crowd in attendance.
The big brother in Blatche reminded the young Filipinos, the future of Philippine basketball, to keep their heads up and capitalize on this kind of international experience.
“This competition is going to be big for them. Getting what it’s like to compete against good teams in this environment will help them get better.”
Chooks to Go Pilipinas will try to salvage a 5th place finish when it first takes on Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai later today. – Rappler.com