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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

SMART Gilas’ tune-up loss brought a lot of lessons, believes Gabe Norwood



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times SMART Gilas' tune-up loss brought a lot of lessons, believes Gabe Norwood 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gabe Norwood 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Group B

As much as SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ 76-81 tune-up loss to Tanduay Alab Pilipinas on Saturday afternoon was disappointing, national team veteran Gabe Norwood opted to look at the positives brought by the defeat.

“Hopefully it’s a wake-up call to get the guys to really focus and understanding the time constraints that we have,” said the 32-year-old.

“Also hopefully a bump on the road, where nobody’s confident [sic] in those situations.”

The setback is, at least, understandable.

SMART Gilas had had a tough twice-a-day practice schedule this week, and fatigue was a major issue — a problem that caught them in the tail-end of the game, as they ran out of gas and failed to make things happen after going down 71-77 in the final 2:38 of the game.

But Norwood shared that the loss is just part of this journey. According to the team’s eldest statesman, they are still polishing some things in their system, especially on offense.

“We made some changes in our offense and we really need to clean up and execute,” said the Filipino-American forward, who has been serving the national team for 10 years.

“They (Alab) played well too. They came out and played great. There are some things we need to fine-tune.”

SMART Gilas has a lot of work to do, as the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers draw near. And only the Japan game will show if they really did pick up something from this.