Gilas Pilipinas national head coach Tab Baldwin has been informed that Lewis Alfred Tenorio won’t be joining the Philippine team in its campaign in this year’s 28th FIBA Asia Championship slated September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, Hunan, China.
“I was informed that he’s not going to join the team. His presence is very valuable to the team because he already has the experience playing international,” Baldwin told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I cannot do something about it though but to find a replacement.”
The six-footer Tenorio, who was also an Ateneo De Manila University varsity player made the announcement in a radio interview.
“I already sacrificed a lot playing for the Philippine team a long time ago,” Tenorio said in an interview by DZSR Sports Radio 918 also on Tuesday. “One factor that I’ve considered is fatigue. I’m not getting any younger. The PBA 41st season will open this October and I need to prepare.”
Gilas finished seventh in its last international campaign at the Asian Games in Incheon South Korea in 2014. In the same year in Spain, the Philippine team posted their first victory in 40 years at the FIBA Basketball World Cup by beating Senegal 81-79.
Baldwin said that Gilas Pilipinas is now preparing for the 28th FIBA Asia Championship, which is also an Olympic qualifying meet.
“I’m very excited because this is my first time to coach the Philippine team,” Baldwin added.
Baldwin said that Gilas would hold its first practice tonight at the Meralco gym in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
The Philippines will be up against host China, champion Iran and traditional contenders South Korea, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Qatar and Lebanon. The other participating teams are Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Palestine, Malaysia and Singapore.