Coach Tab Baldwin of Gilas Pilipinas has reminded all the national players that they are not vacationing in Cebu.
Baldwin explained on Tuesday that the players are practicing hard to familiarize them with his new system before heading to Changsha, China, to compete in the 28th FIBA Asia Championship Olympic Qualifying competition on September 23 to October 3.
“This is not a vacation,” he told all his players, according to Sports5.ph reporter Carlo Pamintuan during Day 2 of the team’s training at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu, Cebu. “I need you to be here 100 percent mentally.”
The activities of the players are limited to eating, sleeping and basketball.
Baldwin and the rest of the team including 6’11 naturalized Andray Blatche arrived on Monday in Cebu and are set to return to Manila on the 18th. They are presently making new set plays for the FIBA Asia Championship.
One of those plays is the pick-and-roll defense.
During their first two days, Baldwin asked various reporters during a news conference from Cebu not to ask about whoever was not there.
“Let’s give these guys the proper credit for the sacrifice they’re making,” he said.
Besides Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss and Dondon Hontiveros of Alaska, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, rookie Troy Rosario and Matt Roser-Ganuelas, Gabe Norwoods of Rain or Shine, Jean Marc Pingris of Star, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, JC Intal of Barako Bull and Paul Asi Taulava of Northern Luzon Expressway, among others, are also in attendance in Cebu.