Baldwin looking to bring in players from Gilas 3.0 to new PBA pool
To encourage continuity from the last program, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin is eyeing to integrate players from the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship silver medalists into the new 17-man PBA pool.
Dondon Hontiveros, Asi Taulava, Sonny Thoss, JC Intal, and reserve Gary David weren’t named to the PBA’s new list announced next week, but Baldwin sees these guys as key contributors in the formation of the next Gilas Pilipinas.
“I plan to bring the Gilas 3.0 players who were not asked to join this pool in,” Baldwin said at the PBA Opening where the Gilas squad was feted. “I want to translate the message of the team that we built in 3.0, the character, the tightness, the bond, the chemistry, I want to transfer that to the next team.”
The last Gilas Pilipinas squad didn’t really have overwhelming talent when it came to the personnel during its buildup, but overachieved in the continental tournament and silenced all the critics with its runner-up finish in Changsha.
Baldwin said that he admired the squad’s fighting spirit and he wants that character to be sustained with new players coming in to the squad.
“When you change personalities and change characters, you change the chemistry, and we want to try to re-establish that chemistry that we had this year to the team next year because I think, even more than the additional talent, we have to have that if we hope to succeed,” he said.
In the new PBA resolution, Gilas Pilipinas would have every Monday free starting November to practice, but Baldwin doesn’t think it’s still going to be a challenge getting the team ready for the Olympic Wildcard next year.
“I think it’s a misnomer that we’ll have more time. We’ll have less practices stretched out over a longer period of time, but that’s the way it is. It’s gonna be very difficult given the short preparation time that we have and the number of hours in the court that we have together, but that’s the same for all of the teams. We just have to maximize that, get together, work hard, work smart, and not relax at any point in time,” said Baldwin.
“You can’t go slow. Everything is on an accelerated pathway and if we want to achieve, if we want to succeed, and if we want to win gold, and want to earn a qualification spot, we don’t have any alternative other than to bust our tails every single second we get a chance to be together.”
Baldwin stressed that the country didn’t commit to joining the qualifiers just to comply with Fiba.
“We’re not in it just to compete. The goal is to make a mark in the world stage and you do that by winning and not by just competing.”
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