Baldwin to Romeo: Lead this Gilas team
CEBU—With the clock ticking on Gilas Pilipinas’ cramming for the Fiba Asia men’s championship here, it is quite understandable that the buoyant practices and valuable bonding moments would be interrupted by edgy moments.
With the tournament that dangles a spot to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the gold medal winner a mere five days away, the team’s head coach, Tab Baldwin, wants every cut, every switch and every coverage to be as precise as possible.
And when things don’t go as neatly as possible, there will be harsh reminders from the coaching staff about what’s at stake like what happened in the team’s final practice here Thursday evening before flying back to Manila.
With the white squad led by the team’s latest darling Terrence Romeo messing up on their defensive coverage on consecutive possessions in a five-on-five drill during the team’s fifth practice session at Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu City, coach Tab Baldwin halted play and let the team have it in scathing fashion.
“How many times can one man **ck up without anyone saying anything?!” bellowed a visibly irate Baldwin after another blown defensive assignment which he specifically gave instructions on in a huddle moments before.
“Who are you being nice to?” barked Baldwin to the players. “Iran? They’d kick your ass back to Manila!”
The veteran international coach had admitted that the team’s focus is to topple the mighty defending champions of the Fiba Asia competition, one of two major road blocks to the squad’s goal of bringing the country back to the Olympic stage.
Baldwin then directed his attention to Romeo—who, day by day, is trying to learn the nuances of becoming a true point guard—and took him to task.
“Lead this team!” he told the Globalport guard.
Gilas held three competitive scrimmages before calling it a night at 11 p.m. Jonas Rey N. Panerio/Inquirer Visayas
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