Andray Blatche hopes to be saved when he leads a loaded Mighty Sports squad at the Dubai International Basketball Tournament later this month.
He can also see first-hand how well Kai Sotto has become.
"In any case, what happened in China left many people with bad taste," he said after training the team in Makati on Monday. “I don't expect to come back here without a championship in Dubai. We have the right stones, the right players and a good situation. "
Blatche was obviously thrilled by the idea of leading an exciting mix of talent – one that will challenge colleagues like Renaldo Balkman, World Cup veteran, and the youthful, hopeful NBA sotto. UAAP standouts and Gilas Pool members Thirdy Ravena, Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño as well as Dave Ildefonso also belong to the team.
The team leaves on July 21. The competition starts two days later.
Even the 6-foot-11 center could not maintain his enthusiasm when he played alongside Sotto: "He has a high basketball IQ."
"Basically, it's not about cunning and flair for the game – the rooms, cuts and screens," added Blatche. "It should be good."
In the meantime, the 33-year-old Blatche said that Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) had not yet contacted him to make another assignment with Gilas.
Earlier this month, the SBP announced that it had started looking for new candidates for a naturalized player, and had even publicly contacted former San Miguel Beer importer Chris McCullough.
Blatche, who has been the center of the Nationals in the last two World Cup games, said he saw the 24-man talent pool, half of whom are amateurs.
"I saw a couple of guys that weren't surprising at all. But it also depends on which import they will bring," he said. INQ
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