FOSHAN, China -- Andray Blatche took responsibility for what happened in Gilas Pilipinas' 108-62 loss to Italy in their 2019 FIBA World Cup opener.
Blatche finished with a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but also committed nine turnovers, which was one of the factors the Philippines lost by a big margin. In total, Gilas was minus-39 in the 30 minutes and 38 seconds Blatche was on the floor, which was the team's worst plus-minus.
I take 100% responsibility in that game no energy or puso that's on me no excuses i owe better to all of you— andray blatche (@drayblatche) August 31, 2019
"Andray was silent during our team meeting," said head coach Yeng Guiao. "I know he's feeling bad and is taking responsibility for that but we all share in the responsibility; that's on the whole team, not just one individual. We rely a lot of Andray but I've been telling the team that if one guy is playing badly, the others need to step up. We needed to cover each other's back. What happened was he was playing badly and all the rest also lost their confidence."
Guiao, however, admitted that their errors hampered their offense.
"Actually at first, it was not our lack of 3-point makes that caused Italy to pull away," he said. "It was the early turnovers. We were feeding their runs very early. We miscalculated their length and quickness and they played the passing lanes very well. Every turnover led to a layup or a dunk and it was really disheartening if it happens two or three times in a row."
With Italy shooting at 67% from the two point range and 48% from deep, every turnover was costly for the Philippines. It made the Italians' job a lot easier.
Looking forward to the game against Serbia, Guiao is hoping Gilas plays with more effort.
"We want to play with our usual heart, the usual effort. We were shell-shocked in our first game," he said. "The consolation for us Filipino basketball fans is just to see the team fighting it out and that's what we plan to do in our next game."