Andray Blatche will get another opportunity to represent the Philippines as he will be joining Mighty Sports for the upcoming 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship January 23 to February 1 at the Shabab Al Ahli Club.
"It's always an honor to represent a country that is passionate about the game that I love," Blatche said in an exclusive interview with ESPN5.
After getting to play with legendary Philippine national team members, the 33-year-old big man is now excited to share the floor with youngsters who will be leading the fight for the country in the near future.
"This time it's different. This time it's special because I don't just get to play and represent, but I'm playing with the next generation of the country. I am training with them and building friendships. They are family. The country is my family. I am more excited than ever."
Blatche will be flanked by Kai Sotto, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, Michael Williams, and Dave Ildefonso.
Although Blatche is focusing on his stint with Mighty Sports right now, he and his team are also busy exploring future options. He has always expressed his wanting to play in the PBA to play alongside some of his Gilas Pilipinas teammates but he's over the Commissioner's Cup height limit.
"We decided to get Andray knowing that he's motivated to bounce back from the last outing he had representing the Philippines," said Charles Tiu, head coach of Mighty Sports, which is also sponsored by Emedsure Online Pharmacy.
"Another reason is because I know that he really has wanted to take on a mentorship role with Kai. We tried to make it happen and get them both as early as our Jones Cup stint this year but it didn't push through then but now it's finally happening," added Tiu.
"I think a lot of Filipino bigs like June Mar (Fajardo) learned a lot by just practicing with Andray and I'm hopeful that Kai also picks up lessons that will help him in the future."