Fajardo leads Baldwin’s pool of Gilas Pilipinas aspirants
MANILA, Philippines—June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer will head the cast of aspirants for the Gilas Pilipinas national pool bound for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship this year in China.
Head coach Tab Baldwin announced Tuesday that around 25 players from the PBA would comprise the team as Gilas begins the quest to land a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Except for the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the reigning PBA MVP, Baldwin has remained tight-lipped over the other players being considered.
“From what I’ve seeing, from the names I’ve got down now, it’s looking at around 25. It’s something like that,” said Baldwin during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum appearance on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“But I’d say that the only player right now that cannot be excluded given the demographic of the sport of basketball is June Mar Fajardo,” added the American who coached New Zealand in the 2002 Fiba World Championship.
Baldwin said he would first prune down the list down to 16 before finalizing the lineup for the Asian championship.
“Having a group of around 16 would be ideal,” he explained in the forum backed by Accel, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and San Miguel.
“I would say within four or five days we’ll be able to make the first cut down to 16, and then we won’t cut down that 16 to the last 12 until we have to, until the last day whatever the deadline is,” added Baldwin.
He pointed a team built for efficiency and competitiveness with talent and chemistry are the basic ingredients needed for the winning formula.