- Andray Blatche is excited for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- He said being the ‘underdog’ takes a lot of pressure from Gilas Pilipinas
- He said the team has a good chance to win
MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized player Andray Blatche believes that the Philippine National Basketball Team, popularly known as Gilas Pilipinas has a good chance of winning the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July.
He added that being labeled as the ‘underdog’ is actually good for the team because it takes a lot of pressure from them.
ABS-CBN News quoted him as telling the reporters during the halftime of the FilOil game between Colegio de San Juan de Letran and De La Salle University on Sunday, June : “There’s nothing wrong with being the underdog. It allows us to go and play our game comfortably, and not to be so stressed out there. I feel like we’re gonna go out there with a lot of fight and with a lot of heart.”
“I really think we have a good chance.”
Blatche said he’s really excited and he can’t wait to play even if they will be facing powerhouse teams like France.
“You know, we’re home. We have everyone behind us, rooting for us,” he added.
Coach Tab Baldwin recently praised Blatche for coming in with a lot of intensity during their practice session and the other players sort of followed him a little bit.
Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted the American-Kiwi coach as saying: “He lifted the level of energy and intensity and I think other players have to step up and do that as well. We have to do it vocally and not just by example.”
A total of 18 teams will be joining the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and they have been divided into three groups.
The tournament will run from July 5 to 10 and only the winners of each of the groupings will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.
Gilas Pilipinas is set to fly out on June 10 for a nine-day camp in Greece.