Andray Blatche vies with Greece's center Giannis Bourousis during their 2014 FIBA World basketball championships group B match at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Sevilla. Photo by Cristina Quicler
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 1) Naturalized center Andray Blatche is a game-time decision for Gilas Pilipinas in their FIBA World Cup game against Argentina Monday night as he continues to deal with a knee injury.
TJ Manotoc of ABS-CBN News reported Monday morning that according to Gilas team manager Aboy Castro, "whether or not Blatche will play vs. Argentina today will be a game time decision."
Blatche played in Gilas' 82-70 loss against Greece early Monday morning, tallying 21 points and 14 rebounds, but was seen clutching his knee a couple of times in the second half.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes said Blatche was "already battling tendinitis" heading into the tournament, and aggravated the injury when he twisted his right knee when he went for a drive against Croatia.
"His problem now is that he is feeling pain when he gets bumped," said Reyes of Blatche, as quoted by the PBA website. "But he's taking it. Hopefully, we can finish the tournament."
"Pinag-iisipan lang namin, totodo ba, pupukpok ba? Or he gets a two-day rest before Puerto Rico and Senegal," he added.
Blatche played for 33 minutes against Greece, the fifth ranked team in the world.
Resting Blatche for Monday's game against Argentina may go a long way in making sure that he is in better form when Gilas plays Senegal and Puerto Rico, which are theoretically "winnable" games for the national team.
Manotoc also reported that Gilas did not practice Monday morning, but instead stayed at the hotel for film viewing.
Gilas has lost both of its games in the FIBA World Cup, but has made a good account of itself, especially after its overtime loss against Croatia in their tournament opener.