Andray Blatche joins practice as Gilas ramps up preps

Andray Blatche is back and finally participated in his first practice with Gilas Pilipinas on Monday afternoon at the Greenhills West Clubhouse in Ortigas,

He was in high spirits as he joined the team drills and exercises, a great sight for Gilas which spent weeks of training without the naturalized Filipino center for the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Blatche arrived in Manila on Friday night and had a shootaround session on Saturday in preparation for the daily practices of the national team this week. He shared that he was extremely excited to be back and eager to get ready for the upcoming competition.

The former NBA player also watched the PBA game between NLEX Road Warriors and Alaska Aces at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

Other players in attendance during Monday's practice were Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Roger Pogoy, Calvin Abueva, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Alas, June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, and "23 for 2023" pool member Abu Tratter.

Missing in action were Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, and Troy Rosario who is still nursing an injury he suffered last week.

Gilas will continue its daily practices throughout the week. The Philippines will face Australia on February 22 and Japan on February 25.