Baldwin proud of Gilas effort in Serbia loss, but no ‘moral victories’ for him
MANILA, Philippines—No matter how it’s spun, the Philippines’ loss against Serbia remains what it is. Just ask head coach Tab Baldwin.
Gilas suffered an 83-76 loss against Serbia in its opening game of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament and Baldwin said that the defeat was no moral victory.
“A lot of people will see this as a moral victory but I’ve been in this game for such a long time, I just don’t believe in those,” said Baldwin after their match at Belgrade Arena in Serbia Thursday (Manila time).
The Philippines, ranked no.31 in the world, tried to pull off a huge upset win but the no.5 ranked Serbians managed a closing 10-2 run to shut it down.
Boban Marjanovic, the 7-foot-4 giant who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, singlehandedly walloped the Gilas youngsters as he went on a personal 8-2 run to put the Serbs up 81-76 with 36 seconds remaining.
— FIBA (@FIBA) June 30, 2021
Baldwin said that the magnitude of the game, and going up against one of the best teams in the world, may have affected the players’ psyches thus resulting in missed chances down the stretch.
“Sometimes with a young and developing team, the occasion may be bigger than we are,” said Baldwin. “But that’s what the learning process is all about.”
Nevertheless, Baldwin was proud of what his youngsters showed against the veterans of Serbia.
“I was very proud of the effort today. I want to play better than we played and I know that we can be better. We will play better. Certainly, the flow of the game was very competitive and we put in a great effort.”