THE Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team is ready to learn a lot of valuable lessons in its upcoming match-ups against world basketball powerhouse Serbia and the Dominican Republic in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next week in Belgrade.
Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin completely understands the situation they’re in, ranged against a Serbian team that is ranked fifth in the entire world and will come armed with 7-foot-4 center Boban Marjanonic of the Dallas Mavericks and Nemanja Bjelica of the Miami Heat. The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, is ranked No. 19 in the world.
“We just have to go and stand up to our opposition the best that we can,” Baldwin was quoted as saying on Spin.ph.
“Serbia for sure is going to be teaching us a lot of lessons. There’s no question about that. It will be really, really beneficial in my expectations of the team as they fight their hearts out. They understand they’re playing for their flag and their countrymen, and I don’t have any doubt that we will do that,” added Baldwin.
The Dominican Republic will also present the Gilas with a different set of problems with Baldwin touting their athletic big men, saying, “It’s like looking at four Ange Kouames running around out there on the court but with 10 years experience.”
The Gilas will be facing off against Serbia on July 1. 2021 at 2:30 a.m. (PH time) and then, the Dominican Republic the following day at the same time.
Baldwin said he and the rest of his coaching staff will have to figure out how to work the rotation with this brutal back-to-back set.
“It’s a difficult tournament to play. We have to be smart as a coaching staff. We have to measure our losses and take them where we can and conserve our energy the best we can and be as competitive as we can be,” said Baldwin. (JNP)