Gilas therapist to fast-track Blatche's conditioning

(Philstar.com) - September 14, 2015 - 1:23am

MANILA, Philippines – With just over a week left before the start of the 2015 FIBA Asia men’s championships, Gilas Pilipinas physical therapist Dexter Aseron said naturalized player Andray Blatche will have additional court workout and running drills to fast-track his physical conditioning as the national team heads to Cebu on Monday.

Aseron said there will be twice-a-day practices, weight training and mobility exercises as part of the Gilas training camp to ensure Blatche and the rest of the players sustain their form. 

“I plan to make additional run and tuloy tuloy lang ang diet niya (Blatche). Extra work lang pero di na sobra, like some court workout kasi di siya nagbubuhat eh,” Aseron told Philstar.com, before leaving for Cebu on Monday.

The 6-foot-11 Blatche played his best game so far in the four-team MVP Cup on Sunday, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds in just over 20 minutes to help Gilas upend Chinese Taipei, 90-77 and complete a three-game sweep of the tournament.

Despite his impressive stats line, Aseron believes the former Brooklyn Nets big man has a lot of catching up to do in order to reach game shape.

“Conditioning na lang, hangin saka game shape na lang, kasi sa ngayon, medyo malayo pa siya dahil wala siya sa Jones Cup,” he said.

“Eh malaking bagay yun, kasi 8 straight games yun. Eh di lang siya nakasali, kaya this week, we plan to make him work extra.”

The 29-year-old Blatche missed the Jones Cup after flying back to the United States to attend the funeral of his uncle and be with his ailing mother.

But since arriving from the US a week ago, Gilas coach Tab Baldwin said Blatche has been on a soup and salad diet, which was also why he didn’t have much energy during the first two games of the MVP Cup.

“When he came back from his uncle’s funeral, I said, you can’t run yourself into the ground now, there’s no time for that, you will only injure yourself and we don’t want that, so I said, let’s attack your conditioning by starving you,” Baldwin told sports scribes after Gilas’ victory over Taipei.

“He took that (suggestion) on board. And if everybody tries that, it’s not easy. He’s literally on soup and salad diet for about seven or eight days so he had no energy, none for this Cup,” added Baldwin.

“It’s not because he’s out of shape, but because there’s nothing going on his fuel tank (that’s why) I was surprised he took that instruction on board because that’s tough, and he did.”

But with Gilas heading to the final stages of its preparation for the FIBA Asia cage joust, which also doubles up as regional qualifier for next year’s Rio Olympics, Baldwin expects Blatche to regain his energy.

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