Gilas Pilipinas national mentor Tab Baldwin admitted the team is behind schedule in terms of preparation for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Olympic Qualifying tournament slated on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.
Baldwin cited minor injuries of some players, including naturalized player 6-foot-11 Andray Blatche who is still recovering from prostatitis.
“We are not 100 percent obviously because we didn’t get a lot of practice, so the amount of time we’ve got is deficient,” Baldwin told The Manila Times on Sunday in an interview. “We didn’t get into a camp and we had injuries that’s why we’re behind the schedule. We were behind where we should be.”
“We don’t have the quality of trainings we really like, but the guys here are progressing a lot and they keep on improving,” he added. “They really work extremely hard, but overall we’re behind. Andray is getting better everyday and we’re doing our best to put him in best shape,” added Baldwin.
The team is expected to leave for Estonia on Monday to compete in a pocket tournament against host Estonia, Iceland and the Netherlands.
The team will also compete in the Jones Cup in Taiwan on August 29 to September 6.
“We are going to win every game and give our best shot. If we lose, we lose to a better team and not beaten by ourselves,” he added. “I cannot worry to what I don’t have and all I can do is think to what I have. So far, I’m happy with my present team.”
Baldwin’s personal choice LA Tenorio, June Mar Fajardo and Jean Marc Pingris
have begged off because of various reasons.
The other members of the pool are Paul Asi Taulava, Jason Castro, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Dondon Hontiveros, JC Intal, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Sonny Thoss, Moala Tautuaa and Gary David.