Gilas Pilipinas continued its preparations on Tuesday at the Meralco Gym for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and Kazakhstan. It was almost a perfect attendance for the national team and only the second day of practice for naturalized player Andray Blatche.
Gilas is making do with the little time to prepare for the for the qualifiers, but head coach Yeng Guiao was pleased with the progress of the team as far as chemistry is concerned.
"We're getting there. We're getting better chemistry," he said. "Andray is getting more familiar with the plays. I think he's very comfortable with the plays now. We're trying to keep everything simple."
Blatche will be training with NLEX on Wednesday in the hopes of getting more accustomed to Guiao's system before the team gives way to the PBA games from Friday to Sunday.
"Tomorrow he will practice with NLEX, just running some plays. And then on Thursday, that could be his last with the team because there are PBA games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday," Guiao said.
Gilas is looking to sweep this window against Qatar and Kazakhstan on February 21 and 24 to boost its chances of making the biggest stage in China later this year.
Also present in Tuesday's practice were June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Poy Erram, Paul Lee Scottie Thompson, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood, and Marc Barroca.
Jayson Castro and Japeth Aguilar opted to rest but still showed up in practice in street clothes. Raymond Almazan and Thirdy Ravena were absent.
The national team will return to practice on Thursday.