MANILA, Philippines— Andray Blatche penned his well-wishes for his Gilas Pilipinas teammates, but cited no further explanation regarding his non-inclusion in the final lineup that will be fielded in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon next month.
The naturalized center posted a photo of himself on Instagram donning the national jersey and carrying the Philippine flag, and wrote how “thankful” he is for the opportunity to play for the country as well as the Filipinos’ support.
“I will always be very thankful for the opportunity the love and the support I have received from my Filipino family,” Blatche shared to his Instagram followers on Wednesday, July 26.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes revealed on his Twitter page Tuesday the 12 players who will compete in the FIBA Asia tourney, but netizens were left wondering as to why Blatche was not included in the final roster.
The 30-year-old veteran said that there were a lot of reasons behind the decision. However, Blatche did not offer a concrete explanation in his statement.
“It’s a lot of reason why I can’t join and I don’t expect for many ppl [people] to understand,” he added.
“But I do wish my brothers the best of luck.”
Blatche, who formerly suited up for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, last saw action for Gilas in the SEABA Championships in May.
National team stalwarts and PBA veterans Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood, and Terrence Romeo will be leading the pack for the Blatche-less Gilas this August together with Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan.
They will be joined by cadets Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, and Carl Bryan Cruz, while Fil-German Christian Standhardinger completes the cast.
Gilas Pilipinas will attempt to snag the gold in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, which will run from August 8 to 20 in Beirut. – Rappler.com
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