TAIPEI - As happy as he was to see Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva come out of their shell in a Jones Cup game against Chinese-Taipei on Sunday night, national coach Tab Baldwin isn't too happy to see his Gilas Pilipinas new boys attract too much attention.
Baldwin is certain the two have caught the eye of Asian scouts after the 77-69 win over the hosts in a game where Romeo dished off a dazzling array of shots in an 18-point performance and Abueva score 15 points and grab five rebounds in under 14 minutes on the floor.
"They gave away things we didn’t want to give away," admitted Baldwin at the end of a morning practice on Monday, hours before Gilas' match against South Korea.
Baldwin initially had no plan to field this Gilas team in the Jones Cup this year, wary as he was that they could 'give away too much' in terms of scouting with the Fiba Asia championships in Changsha, China set from September 23 to October 3 just a couple of weeks away.
Plans changed, however, in the face of the difficulty of forming the pool for the current Gilas pool.
"I think from a policy standpoint, it’s better to avoid this tournament in a big year, in a qualification year. If we qualify for the Olympics and the World (Cup), it’s a good tournament to play in because you don’t have to worry about the teams scouting you," said the American-New Zealander.
However, Baldwin was also the first to admit that regardless of how you plan things, it is very hard to keep your cards close to your chest, so to speak, and so easy to scout opponents, in the digital age.
"Preservation of information is a big thing in the world today. Scouting is so sophisticated now and so easy to do and you’re going to reveal a lot," he said.
"With all the digital technology and all the video around, your team should walk off the floor pretty prepared (against opponents) because it’s (scouting) easy to do."
Still, Baldwin said he doesn't plan to reveal all going to the Changsha showcase serving as qualifier for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
The national coach said he and the team plan to go on 'seclusion' after the MVP Cup tournament in Manila, tweak a couple of things in their plays and patterns, and hopefully surprise their main rivals in the Fiba Asia.
"A critical week for us is after the MVP Cup. We’ll modify some things, go into seclusion and hopefully not reveal everything we will use in the Fiba-Asia," he said.