- Blatche is brokenhearted over Gilas Pilipinas’s elimination in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- He said flying back home just doesn’t feel right within
- Blatche led the offensive plays of Gilas Pilipinas’ games against France and New Zealand
MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized center Andray Blatche, who led the Philippine National Basketball Team, popularly known as Gilas Pilipinas, in their offensive plays during their games against France and New Zealand in the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament held at the Mall of Asia Arena, was as brokenhearted as the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas team after they were defeated by both France and New Zealand.
Gilas Pilipinas ended their dream of making it to the Rio Olympics after suffering a nine-point loss against both of their opponents ( France 93-84) (New Zealand 89-80).
On his Instagram account, he wrote: “Walking off this court was the hardest thing for me to do in a long time the love and support I have gotten here is more the enough flying back home jus don’t feel rite.”
According to an article published by ABS-CBN news, Blatche was naturalized in June 2014.
Just like Blatche, the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas players knew how much they’re loved and supported by their fans.
After their game against New Zealand on Wednesday, July 6, the players expressed their gratitude to their fans whom they described as the ‘best fans in the world’.
They spent some time greeting and shaking the hands of the waiting fans, as well as signing autographs and taking pictures.
Team captain Gabe Norwood said: “It hurts. But I also want to say ‘thank you’ to the best fans in the world. Hopefully, this continues to bring pride to our country and the game of basketball, and hopefully, we continue to move forward with the Gilas program.”
As for coach Tab Baldwin, he was also grateful to the fans who never failed to show their support for the team.
“They came out in huge numbers, they came out with their hopes for us and their support for us, and all we can do is say we appreciate that greatly,” he said.