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Sports

Blatche impressive in Gilas debut; Douthit not be outdone

Alder Almo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – New naturalized center Andray Blatche gave a glimpse of what he can do for Gilas Pilipinas in their 95-74 drubbing of the American selection from Miami’s Pro-Am League Saturday night (Sunday Manila time).

Blatche waxed hot early on and was not only a dominant offensive force but also made his teammates better on the floor. He scattered 12 points while he also showed a knack of finding his open teammates.

In one sequence in the opening quarter, Blatche drove inside and kicked it out to an open Jeff Chan when the defense collapsed on him.

Chan finished with seven points on one three-pointer and a couple of jumpers mostly from kickout passes created by their dribble drive offense.

Maganda ang ipinakita ni Andray. Naipakita rin niya na kaya niya mag-create para sa sarili niya and para sa teammates niya,” Chan told Philstar.com on Sunday (Monday Manila time).

Blatche also drained some jumpers while his great footwork often rattled his defenders leading to points inside the paint.

Japeth Aguilar also sank a long jumper off another Blatche kickout pass that got him going in the game. Aguilar ended up with several highlight reels closing out the game with emphatic slams.

“He created a lot of mismatches against his defenders. He is skilled for his size and can handle the ball and shoot from the outside,” said Aguilar assessing Blatche’s debut game with Gilas.

The 27-year old NBA veteran was the more mobile and agile between him and Marcus Douthit, who turned 34 this year. But Douthit, who has been the national team’s naturalized player since 2010, did measure up when it comes to the post showing variety of moves around the basket.

Palitan lang sila. Maganda rin ang ipinakita ni Marcus. Ipinakita niya na pagdating sa low post, kayang kaya niya,” Chan added.

Only one naturalized player between Blatche and Douthit will be picked for inclusion in the final 12 for the FIBA World Cup.

It’s only their first test but it’s shaping up to be a struggle for Gilas coach Chot Reyes and his staff to decide on who will lock up the lone spot for naturalized players in the Spain joust. 

AGUILAR

ANDRAY BLATCHE

BLATCHE

BLATCHE AND DOUTHIT

BUT DOUTHIT

CHOT REYES

INFO

JAPETH AGUILAR

JEFF CHAN

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