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Tab Baldwin gives two cents on SEA Games-bound Gilas squad

It has been a while since Tab Baldwin went up close with Gilas Pilipinas, a program he once took under his wing. But on Tuesday afternoon, the American coach had a chance to watch and observe his former team.

The veteran internationalist, who is now mentoring the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, got a particularly good look at the Gilas team bound for the 2017 SEA Games. He’d watched them play as the Nationals battled his Blue Eagles in a tune-up at the Moro Lorenzo Gym.

The Blue Eagles dropped the friendly, 79-86. And as Baldwin saw a Gilas team with some new faces, being mentored by veteran coach Jong Uichico, the 59-year-old mentor shared his insights regarding them.Gilas-vs.-ADMU-Jose-2619 Tab Baldwin gives two cents on SEA Games-bound Gilas squad Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“I think the obvious that jumps out is they don’t have a center. They lack a big man in the middle,” commented Baldwin, who had steered Sinag Pilipinas to SEA Games gold back in 2015. “They got good guards, they have good leadership, but I think they need more time together.

“They need time to settle down and become a team.”

Baldwin also discussed his concerns over the competition Gilas will face in the biennial regional meet this time, considering the amount of development the ASEAN countries have undergone in terms of their basketball programs.SEABA-2017-Philippines-vs.-Indonesia-Jamarr-Johnson-4470 Tab Baldwin gives two cents on SEA Games-bound Gilas squad Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

“Thailand’s gonna be tough, Indonesia”s gonna be tough. Who knows, who else? The zone is changing, the zone is maturing,” said the multi-medaled coach.

“I know that we would like to send our best players, but we always have to battle the political landscape here, and that’s what Gilas will continue to do.”

Still, the globetrotting coach believes in this current batch of players — mostly made up of former college stars — stating that the team has enough talent and competitiveness to be able to stamp their class in Kuala Lumpur.

#ReadMore  Clinical ONIC PH sweeps TNC to go to 4-0 in MPL PH

“I like these players a lot. I’ve coached a lot of those players. There’s some talented players there, others are very competitive guys. This team is not gonna back down from anybody,” said Baldwin.

“These guys will go in there and will play compete hard.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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