Naturalized Filipino player Andray Blatche voiced out his frustration over the way he was cut from the Philippines men's national basketball team, which will play in the next few days a pair of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup.
Blatche felt he should have been informed of his non-inclusion first before Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the sport's national governing body, announced the final roster on Wednesday.
"It was a bit of a shocker for me when I learned from the news reports that I wasn't included in the lineup," he said in a statement posted on ESPN 5's Facebook page.
"No one from the SBP actually communicated with me or my international agents before the news was released. I think it was a very unprofessional way to handle someone like me, who has so much invested in the Gilas program."
He added that it gave a bad impression on Filipino fans, whom he consider as "the best in the world."
"The way this was handled was not a good representation of Filipinos in general, who are kind and hospitable and loyal," said the former NBA player.
Blatche is still serving his 3-game suspension for his participation in the July 2 brawl between the Philippines and Australia.
This means that he would only be eligible to play in the December 3 game against Iran, not the one against Kazakhstan on Friday, November 30.
Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said he prefers to keep the team's chemistry intact for its next two games.
"We appreciate what Andray Blatche has done for us previously. It was really a hard decision on our part, but we took into consideration the chemistry that has been built up from the Asian Games to the fourth window (of the World Cup qualifiers)," Guiao said in a previous report.
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