Where there is no Andray Blatche, there is no Gilas Pilipinas

As we asserted a few times earlier, Gilas Pilipinas is really just The Andray Blatche Show. This reality about the Philippines’ flag bearer to the FIBA World Cup in Spain this year was punctuated this week after the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) ruled against Blatche being included in the Philippine basketball team playing in the 17th Asian Games. This development, quite simply, illuminated the next steps from the perspective Philippine basketbal officialdom…

With the rebuff, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chair Ricky Vargas said during a press conference yesterday that they may skip participation in the Asiad set Sept.19 to Oct. 4 in Incheon, South Korea.

Just like that.

Kung walang Blatche, walang Gilas.

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andray_blatcheEverything about Gilas Pilipinas does indeed hinge on Andray Blatche who was granted insta-citizenship by Philippine Congress just this year through Republic Act 10636 (based on a bill authored by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara), an insta-law that was insta-signed by Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. Blatche, who prior to that had never been to the Philippines then went on to average 21.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals over five games in the recently-concluded FIBA Wold Cup as well as lead the team to a victory over Senegal in the Philippines’ first World Cup win in 40 years.

The OCA, however, requires that naturalised players rack up 3-years’ residency in their respective teams’ host country before they are eligible to play in the Asian Games.

But why consider not sending the Philippines’ boys to Incheon just because they are missing their big American guy? The OCA had also banned the naturalised imports of the Chinese Taipei and South Korean teams from playing — a bit of a levelling of the playing field there, one would think. Apparently this wasn’t enough for the Filipino basketballers to grow back a pair. Interesting too that Filipinos’ confidence in their team would be so utterly deflated by the absence of a single guy.

11 Replies to “Where there is no Andray Blatche, there is no Gilas Pilipinas”

  1. Setting the political mumbo jumbo aside, the Philippine team can compete without Blatche in the Asian games if we just add more dimension to their offense and if our bigs would step up. We have a handful of big men but I always wondered why their skills never developed. One of our supposed strengths is a deep bench so why not put it to good use? The main difference between us and Iran is that we do not rely heavily on three players to put points on the scoreboard; Iran’s points will always come from Haddadi, Bahrami, or Kamrani. We can actually play good basketball without Blatche as evident in some moments in the World Cup when he sat down. I personally think coach Chot is overusing Blatche too much.

    1. Big men in the Philippines play against mostly smaller men. They are so few and far in between that they never get to play against players their size. At the very least they go up against just 1 big man on the opposing team. Bring then to international play and suddenly they are surrounded by men as big or bigger than them and this they are not used to… They have never developed skills similar to what the foreign big men have: 7 feet tall and can play all positions! I was however enamored by how guys like de Ocampo, Aguilar, Norwood, Pingris and most specially Fajardo played. These guys are not the usual local big men (Junmar Fajardo, the only legit big man here, others are undersized big men for their positions.) I think they have gained the self belief and will go at it with the foreign teams’ big guys. If only Slaughter would join this time around in place of Blatche. I say we still have a chance to end up in the top 2 in Asia at least.

  2. There is just something fundamentally wrong with PBA and Gilas. So much support for basketball in this country and yet performance is not that good. Look at countries like India, they love cricket so much and are actually good at it. I think we lack the “science” aspect of sports. We cannot win with just PUSO.

    1. That is the central point of my basketball blogs. Country with 100 million people only caring about basketball and we go decades without the world stage. I ask a simple question and people respond with I know nothing about basketball. Well apparently so does the brain trust of the national team.

  3. Isnt it obvious? Philippines too short for basketball. Without Blatche, Philippines is a mediocre team. They may end up in 16th spot like the previous tournaments without their imports.

    And without an import, a World Cup qualification is just a dream.

  4. I don’t know why Chot is complaining. Blatche clearly isn’t eligible.

    Article 50 Section 2 of the Olympic Council of Asia Constitution and rules:

    Competitors will be eligible if they comply with the following
    a. That they were born in the country they represent;
    b. That they are nationals or citizens of the country they represent and
    have lived there continuously for a period of not less than three years;
    c. That they have become naturalised in the country they represent and
    have permanent residence there.

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