SO young, so good.
Despite its youth, Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin marveled at the potential of the all-amateur national team training pool toughening not only for two coming international tourneys but also for the future.
“Not only is this the youngest Gilas group ever assembled, it’s probably the youngest that could be assembled that will still be called Gilas because If we went any younger, we could be calling them Batang Gilas,” Baldwin said in a recent episode of The Game.
“But you know everybody that we brought in here, I believe, is in some way a prospect for Gilas in the future if they fulfill their potential, if they work to become the player that they are promising to be,” he added.
The multi-titled tactician of reigning three-time UAAP champion Ateneo wants to develop the players this early, convinced it will reward them with handsome dividends.
“Obviously, we’re looking for a Gilas team to play in the June competitions, but we’re also preparing for those situations in the future when we call players into the Gilas camp. And you know, as it is right now, there are so many players who come in and they just don’t, I guess, have an idea of the international game and concepts and the level of skill, and the level of intensity. So, if we can begin the process of teaching these younger players what that is all about, that really helps us in the future, not having to deal with sort of elevating the level of intensity and the level of understanding of our players when they come in in the future,” Baldwin said.
“So, we’re trying to kill a lot of birds with one bubble stone, if you will, and so far, so good.
But it is really, really hard work for coaches, and it’s probably unlike anything most of us have really tried to wrestle with.”
The Philippine five is setting its sights on the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers tentatively set from June 14 to 20 in Clark.
The Filipinos will also try to gain a Tokyo Games berth in the Olympic qualifying tournament from June 29 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.