The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team’s experience of facing off against teams of varying styles of play would ultimately help in their development, said the team’s head coach Tab Baldwin.
Baldwin recently shared his assessment on an appearance on Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala last Saturday, saying, “I think that we saw different types of basketball. We saw the North African teams, which are big, strong, and rugged teams, and that's Tunisia and literally Egypt. I think Egypt was the strongest team there. We saw different styles of play.”
The American-New Zealander added that the team’s win against Tunisia was impressive but their losses to Jordan were disappointing.
“To beat Tunisia was very good, an excellent way to beat them. Beating Saudi Arabia and Jordan-B, we're expected to do that so nothing special about that,” he added.
The Gilas slipped past African powerhouse Tunisia, 74-73, and also defeated Saudi Arabia, 77-62, as well as Jordan-B, 90-63. However, the team could not get past Jordan-A, losing, 72-84, at the end of the elimination round, and again in the semifinals, 74-84.
“Losing to Jordan twice was a little bit disappointing, but they were the ultimate champions of the tournament and they were very strong,” Baldwin continued. “We saw a very polished Jordanian team with an excellent guard lineup that really gave us problems. They played at home and that's a good lesson, too, to learn how to play against opposing referees on the road. So all in all, I was relaxed about our results.”
In spite of their fourth-place finish, Baldwin said he’s satisfied with it considering that their goal is really player development.
“The results were okay. It wasn't really the primary goal to win games, but I'm more interested in the performances of our players and then, us as a team collectively,” said Baldwin.
“No question that the learnings were there. The performances of our players were something that we're more focused on. That's the whole point of going in and doing these things, is to learn more about these young players and how they step up at each level against each style of basketball. So the important thing is we've got more knowledge about our team and about our roster.” (JNP)