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Haters ni Blatche butata

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Supalpal kina Chot Reyes at Kiefer Ravena ang haters ni Andray Blatche.

Kahit ano’ng pagbubusa ng bibig ng mga nambabaterya kay Blatche, tnakatukod pa rin sa kanyang likod ang Gilas coach at players. Wala silang balak bitawan ang 6-foot-11 center.

Sa 84-68 loss ng Filipinos sa Australia noong Feb. 22, inulan ng batikos si Blatche na mabagal na sa edad 31, pabigat at walang nagagawa sa team.

Ang nakita ng haters ay ang seven points at eight rebounds lang ni Blatche sa laro.

Hindi nila napuna na siya ang nag-neutralize sa best offensive player ng Boomers na si Daniel Kickert. Naga-average si Kickert ng 20 points, pero shut down siya kay Blatche sa katiting na five.

Si June Mar Fajardo ay may 15 points sa Melbourne, pero ang toka niyang si Angust Brandt ay may 17.

“On a match up basis, if basketball were linear, what would you take, Andray’s eight points but his man at five points, that’s a plus,” paliwanag ni Reyes. “If you go to June Mar 15 as against Brandt at 17 or 16, he’s a negative.”

Kung wala raw si Blatche, malamang na­tambakan ang Gilas ng 30.

“Andray’s our guy,” giit niya. “Andray makes us competitive, regardless of what the stats show.”

Kontra Japan noong Linggo sa MOA Arena, nilabas ni Blatche ang pinakadominanteng laro sa qualifiers sa kinamadang team-high 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, two steals at one block panapal sa five turnovers para ihatid ang Gilas sa 89-84 win at 3-1 sa Group B.

“You can say what you wanna say about Andray, but he delivered tonight which really mattered because after this game, we made it to the second round,” diin ni Ravena. “Malaking bagay talaga ginawa ni Andray, and our fini­sher Jayson (Castro).” (Vladi Eduarte)