Despite injuries among its players last month, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said that the national team’s play is getting better and cohesive.
“We’re getting better each practice basically despite the injuries. We’ve missed Marcio [Lassiter] and Jeff [Chan] is not yet 100 percent in practice. “We are not on the stage yet that we’ve wanted to be but we’ll be there,” Baldwin told The Manila Times on Saturday.
The team has one month more to prepare for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament happening from July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“But I’m really happy and confident the team will be just fine as the [Olympic] qualifier gets near. All the players in the national pool are doing their best. We’re running a lot of drills and so far the results are getting better. We just have to keep going.”
Sharpshooter Lassiter of San Miguel Beer is down with flu while Rain or Shine gunner Chan was still nursing a groin injury.
Present during practice were pool members Terrence Romeo, Bobby Ray Parks, Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Ryan Reyes and Calvin Abueva.
Baldwin also praised the 6’11 naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, “He [Blatche] is in good playing condition and he’s getting better. I’m satisfied in his present condition,” said Baldwin. “He’ll be a big help, absolutely.”
Because of injury, Gilas Pilipinas will play without center Greg Slaughter, Paul Lee and Matt Rosser-Ganuelas in the Olympic qualifier.
JOSEF T. RAMOS