Lull before the storm: Gilas enters quarantine ahead of Asia Cup
Gilas Pilipinas officially entered government-mandated quarantine on Sunday following a winless, yet lessons-filled campaign in the Fiba Olympic Qualifiers in Belgrade, Serbia.
Next for head coach Tab Baldwin and the young National Five is the Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, which will be held this coming August.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ Ryan Gregorio said there has been no timeline set as to when the Gilas leadership will begin plotting for the continental games, where the Philippines is shooting for another deep run.
“There have been no discussions yet as of the moment,” Gregorio, who serves as special assistant to federation president Al Panlilio, told the Inquirer.“[Coach Tab] deserves to rest,” he candidly added.
Baldwin and his wards are currently staying at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, with each member expecting varied dates of release owing to their respective vaccination status.
The mentor, who is also the brains behind the national cage program, said in an earlier interview that he is hoping to plunge the young crew back into work sometime between July 20 and 25, hoping to cash in on the lessons off the near upset of World No. 5 Serbia, and the subsequent beatdown at the hands of Dominican Republic. “We don’t have the exact dates and we don’t know exactly what the protocol measures will be … But it looks like it will be back to the Calamba bubble for us at this point,” he said.
It remains unclear if Baldwin is going to make an encore as Gilas’ mentor, and whether the squad will tap Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars for the Asia Cup.
Baldwin, however, is hopeful that he can reel in Thirdy Ravena and the other cadets that comprise the Philippine talent pool geared for the 2023 World Cup that the Philippines will cohost alongside Japan and Indonesia.
Gilas lost to South Korea in the quarterfinal round of the last Asia Cup held in Lebanon back in 2017.Baldwin was the coach of the last Philippine team that made the final round. That team—full of PBA stars—lost to 2015 host China in a controversial match. INQ