Gilas program ready once Fiba finalizes schedule
Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin likened the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic to a horrific knee injury.
“It’s like the whole sport of basketball has had a collective ACL injury,” he told a few reporters in a virtual presser on Monday night. “So everybody has to go to the sidelines and kind of have to rehab themselves.”
Which is why he is not too keen revealing anything with regards to the future of the national cage program, even after Fiba recently announced that it intends to push through with its qualifying games for several of its continental tournaments through bubble-type setups.
Baldwin, however, noted that he continues to be in talks with the national federation’s leadership, charting one plan after another for any eventuality.
“We are as ready with as many scenarios that we have discussed through that [as thoroughly as] you could possibly imagine,” he said.
“But until you have definitive timelines and definitive schedules both from your government and Fiba, all you can do is talk. There’s literally nothing to announce,” he added.
A Gilas five—bannered by a healthy mix of collegiate standouts and young pro stars—has given the country a 1-0 card in the Fiba Asia Cup after a masterful performance against Jakarta last Feb. 23.
Whether that team will undergo a roster facelift and will be given a new coach remains up in the air.
Even the status of the search for a new naturalized player, according to Baldwin, is “pending.”
“It’s just so early to make any definitive statements about what will be,” said Baldwin, who also previously served as the Nationals’ coach.
“We haven’t been able to move with our timelines the way we have hoped back in the beginning of the year,” he added.
For now, Baldwin, who also serves as the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ head coach, said he is just pleased that the sport is hurtling toward resumption.
“I’m just pleased we’re going to be back playing basketball soon.”
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