AS Gilas Pilipinas practice on Sunday noon came to a close, coach Tab Baldwin huddled Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Kiefer Ravena on one side.
What does the trio have in common? They’re not just the players fighting for point guard spots in the national team for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but they’re playmakers who are known for their heavy offensive production.
Baldwin disclosed he met with the triumvirate to discuss and define their roles as part of the team’s “settling-in process,” simply reminding them how to facilitate the offense.
“Point guards are near and dear to my heart because many years ago, that’s what I tried to play,” Baldwin said. “But I think I understand that role better than, say, a post man’s role. It’s an important role to me and it’s a broad role. It’s not just bringing the ball up the floor. And we’ve got some point guards that are great scorers, great individual players.”
“But they have a job to run the team, too,” he was quick to add. “And we’re just trying to help them understand that role, reinforce that role, and be very specific about what it means to do that job.”
After all, what they’re representing is a lot bigger than Tropang TNT or GlobalPort or Ateneo.
“They want to understand what the national team demands of them,” Baldwin said. “This isn’t Talk ‘N Text or Globalport; it’s not Ateneo.”
Baldwin probably didn’t include LA Tenorio, who’s already a pass-first playmaker, while adding they can also use point forwards Gabe Norwood and Ray Parks on a situational basis.
“I think we will go as far as Gabe, Ray,” Baldwin said. “I think we have a lot of guys that we will want to be able to use situationally in the point, but we have players who are point guards, so they’re the first priority.”