After Abueva, Romeo showing, Baldwin worries revealing too much
TAIPEI – After the way Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo played in Gilas Pilipinas’ Jones Cup debut on Sunday night, coach Tab Baldwin’s belief of not playing in this tournament was reinforced even more.
“They gave away things we didn’t want to give away,” Baldwin told reporters on Monday morning after the Filipinos’ one-hour practice to get ready for a 5 p.m. clash with South Korea at Xinchuang Gymnasium here.
“I think from a policy standpoint, it’s better to avoid this tournament on a big year, in a qualification year,” he went on when asked to confirm initial reports that he didn’t want to play in this event right after he formed the pool of candidates earlier this month.
“If we (already) qualify for the Olympics and the World Cup, it’s a good tournament to play in because you don’t have to worry about the teams scouting you.”
On Sunday night, scouts from every opposing nation in the Fiba Asia Olympic qualifier in China late this month already had tons of information on the two Gilas newcomers, with Romeo torching the Taiwanese with 18 points in a 77-69 victory over Chinese Taipei-A.
The Taiwanese found out that they have no one who can keep in step with the fleet-footed Romeo one-on-one, and it is the GlobalPort point guard’s biggest asset that the others will try to neutralize for the rest of the tournament.
Abueva, a national team rookie, showed why Baldwin loves him so much, his court hustle and drive keeping the taller Taiwanese frontline on its toes the entire night. He finished with 15 points and six rebounds with the duo combining for 13 fourth quarter points.
With seven more games to be played here for the Filipinos, the field is now aware that Abueva is a bundle of energy they would need to contain.
“Preservation of information is a big thing in the world today,” he went on. “Scouting is so sophisticated now and so easy to do that you’re going to reveal a lot.”
Baldwin, though, still believes that the scouts haven’t seen everything at all.
“The critical week for us would be the week after the MVP Cup,” Baldwin said. “We’ll modify some things, go into seclusion and hopefully not reveal everything we will use in the Fiba Asia.”
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