Baldwin sees less reliance on PBA in Gilas’ future
Developing professional players for the international game, Tab Baldwin believes, will result in Gilas Pilipinas relying less on the PBA to fill the national team roster spots.
“The PBA has been generous in supporting us,” the Gilas Pilipinas program director told reporters on Thursday night, shortly after the national pool’s penultimate training before their flight for Jakarta on Friday night.
“In the early days of this project, it was always thought that we’d have greater dependency on the PBA than we hope to have down the track,” he added.
To lessen that dependency, Baldwin is hoping to build a foundation for the national team in the future—young stars who will be trained to develop individual skills fit for the international game.
Already, the Gilas pool has several young players to work with: Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Jaydee Tungcab, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, Nieto twins Mike and Matt, and Juan Gomez de Liaño.
The former Gilas mentor said the players will work with Alex Compton and another coach who will work on each of the athletes’ development. Baldwin said that he is looking to bring in someone who has a familiarity with international play, specifically the European style. One of the names being thrown around, Baldwin revealed, is Serbia’s Nenad Trunic.
“The goal is to develop international basketball players, so it’s not really to develop a team at this point,” Baldwin added.
“For them, now, it’s a very, very selfish approach. We want them to dedicate themselves to themselves and become the greatest player that they could become without having to worry about the goals or objectives of a team,” he added.
Gilas Pilipinas battles Indonesia in a Fiba Asia Cup qualifier match on Sunday in Jakarta, brandishing a lineup that features five players who haven’t played a single pro game yet.
And if everything goes according to Baldwin’s plan, that number will be increasing as the national program moves forward.
“[It] will be good for the PBA because we will be less disruptive,” Baldwin said. “Good for us, too, because we’ll have a more professionalized team.”
“It’s not to say that there won’t be a need for PBA’s involvement. If there is, our partnership with them will continue in whatever fashion is needed to strengthen our team,” he added.
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