Baldwin: Gilas merely ‘inching’ forward after six weeks of training
More than a month after the latest Gilas Pilipinas pool convened for its first practice, head coach Tab Baldwin admits the team isn’t gaining much traction.
Baldwin said the players’ current situation in the PBA with their mother clubs in the midst of a playoff push slowed down the national team pool practice.
“Average. The numbers aren’t good,” Baldwin told reporters when asked how the team’s sixth training session go. “The overall assessment of the Monday night program after six training sessions is not good. The question is are we going forward are we going backwards, it’s an important question. My assessment is maybe we’re inching forward.”
“I know that’s not what’s designed to be in the beginning but I think that’s what it’s turning out to be. So you know the best wishes and the best intentions of everybody in putting these Monday night sessions together were there, I don’t think anybody questions everybody’s intentions in making this happen, but in order to build a basketball team you really need to own their minds and their bodies and we don’t neither right now,” Baldwin added.
The team met for the first time last Nov. 9 with a complete attendance, but the following sessions have seen a dip in the number of able bodies with some players injured and others taking a rest with the PBA slating four game days per week.
“Rightfully so, these players are particularly in a playoff stretch run. They’re concerned about their PBA teams’ playoff situation, they’re concerned about their next game as it will affect their standings and I am too, I’m also concerned about their physical health,” said Baldwin, who is also part of the TNT Tropang Texters coaching staff.
“We don’t wanna to put any of these guys in a position where they can’t get out there and do the job they’re paid to do working for their PBA teams. So we could’ve foreseen some of these things but until you actually go through it, you don’t really know the overall effect so my thinking going forward is to try and make sure that we’re taking some steps forward in respective of how small they might be. We just can’t afford to go backwards.”
Baldwin wrapped up Gilas’ last training for the year. The team will meet again on Monday night for a get-together in time for the Holidays, but won’t be back in the gym until next year to resume practice.
“I’m not gonna try and divide these guys’ attention during the playoffs. We’re one week away from the start of the playoffs,” Baldwin said. “It’s Christmas time we’ll think about the birth of our Lord. We’ll give thanks for that, we’ll celebrate that and let these guys enjoy their families and also focus on their PBA teams and the playoff run.”
“We’ll have dinner next Monday night together. But that would be social so in terms of basketball activities this is the last one for the year. But in terms of team building, Monday night will be important in that regard as well.”