Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball head coach Tab Baldwin is hoping that the team could return to the court and train soon so as not to waste the gains they have achieved this year.
The Gilas have had a busy few months after competing in the FIBA Asia Qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga and then, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. They also competed in the King Abdullah Cup in Jordan. With all that activity, the Gilas were given time off but Baldwin said they can’t be on the sidelines for too long.
"We need to get back on the court, so I suspect the players will get a couple of more weeks off and then we'll see at that time what are the protocols will be. Will we be able to get into a gym and go home at night and train that way like this normal? Or will we have to go back into a bubble? So we don't exactly know," Baldwin said during his appearance on the Radyo5's Power and Play show of Noli Eala.
"But we can't take that much time off because this is a program. A program needs functionality and this is a development program. You don't develop by sitting at home playing your PS4. So we will be talking about this," Baldwin added.
Baldwin said the sooner they can start preparing for the forthcoming tournaments, the better off they would be.
"More time to prepare for us is not a bad thing. We need practice, but we need games as well and we need to keep these players motivated," Baldwin said as the Gilas has a jampacked schedule highlighted by the qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup this November 22 to 30.
Next year’s schedule is brutal as the Gilas would also be competing in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup in Indonesia in July, the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on September 10 to 25 and the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
"What it really does is it puts extremely heavy schedule into 2022, the windows, the Asia Cup, the Asian Games, and the Southeast Asian Games. So we have a very full schedule which is exciting, but it also means that we've got a lot of work to do to get prepared for that," said Baldwin. (JNP)