Blatche under scrutiny

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The Philippines might have to find its way back to the World Cup starting in November minus the naturalized player that identifies most to Gilas Pilipinas.

Andray Blatche’s spot in the National team is not cast in stone, with coaching staff and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas looking at candidates that could reinforce the squad when the Qualifying series starts in November in Japan for the Filipinos.

“We’re looking at options,” SBP chair emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan told the Inquirer in an exclusive interview on Thursday night, after the Filipinos made the qualifying proper by topping the Seaba championship.

“He (Blatche) is certainly part of [the list of] candidates,” Pangilinan said. “But we will still have to see.”

Blatche led the Filipinos during the 2014 World Cup in Spain and was an integral part in the Philippines’ classification round win over Senegal.

Coach Chot Reyes practiced with Blackwater import Greg Smith a lot of times leading up to the Seaba while Blatche was unavailable with his wife due to give birth. –