Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said that Gilas Pilipinas needs to be more consistent in offense and defense to emerge victorious in the 28th FIBA Asia Olympic qualifying tourney on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.
Baldwin and the members of Gilas Pilipinas arrived in Manila from Taiwan early Monday after the team finished second in the Jones Cup on Sunday. Iran did not field 6’5 guard Samad Bahrami, who is known for his shooting prowess and aggressive drives.
“We are improving and we’re getting better,” Baldwin told The Manila Times on Monday in a phone interview. “Too little consistent. We really need to be consistent in some points offensively and defensively, but the team is still in a learning curve.”
“FIBA Asia is going to be tougher than our previous tournament because there are teams that did not field their best players in the Jones Cup like Iran. Korea is also a good team. We are going to resume our practice on Wednesday.”
“It is still a long process but I’m really happy that all the players are willing to learn the system,” Baldwin added. “We are going to compete in the MVP Cup against Taiwan and New Zealand’s club team Wellington Saints this week in Manila as also part of preparation for the FIBA Asia.”
Meanwhile, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Deputy Director for International Affairs Butch Anto¬nio said that they would send Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12 roster today to the FIBA Asia Championship organizer.
“We will send the final 12-man line-up for FIBA Asia today. As far as Jordan Clarkson is concerned, the good news is the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers are not saying that they won’t allow Clarkson to join us in the FIBA Asia, but they set many conditions,” said Antonio, who’s also serving as the national team’s manager.
Antonio said that SBP executives led by Patrick Gregorio and SBP Vice Chairman Ricky Vargas had already met with Los Angeles Lakers officials last week to discuss the possibility of Clarkson suiting up for Gilas in the FIBA Asia meet.