TAIPEI - From the stands of the Xinchuang Gymnasium, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin and Alex Compton saw a rejigged South Korean team that included giant center Han Seongjin get a beating from Iran in the two teams' debut in the 37th William Jones Cup on Saturday.
Baldwin, however, is not reading too much into the result.
"One game they didn't look real good, but they have very good players and we know that is a good team," said the veteran coach after seeing the reigning Asian Games champions lose by 33 points, 46-77, to an Iran side bannered by Hamed Hadadi and Mahdi Kamrani.
In a break from their usual practice, the Koreans brought what is expected to be their final lineup for the Fiba Asia Championship to this annual tournament - a side that featured seven holdovers from their Fiba World Cup team and reinforced by the 7-3 Ha.
That Korean team, now coached by Kim Dong Kwang, proved no match to Iran from the second quarter on in its Jones Cup debut, much to the surprise of Baldwin.
Still, Baldwin sees no reason to assume that Gilas will have it easy against their nemesis when the two teams clash in Day Three of the tournament on Monday.
"I don't know if they're tired but whatever reason why they didn't look good today doesn't give us reason to assume they're not going to be any good. We have to assume that they're going to be very good," he said.
Asked if the 7-3 Ha - who is back in the Korean national side after missing out on the 2013 Fiba Asia as well as the 2014 World Cup and Asian Games - presents new problems for Gilas, Baldwin didn't sound too concerned.
"I'm worried about my team," he said. "I'm worried about shaping up my team to be the best we can be."
Ha had seven rebounds and no points against Iran, who got seven points from Hadadi, 13 points from Mohammad Jamshidi and 10 from the deadly Kamrani.
In other Day One results, the Wellington Saints of New Zealand beat Chinese-Taipei B, 102-85, while Spartak Primorye of Russia dealt a US Selection an 84-64 beating.
Chinese Taipei A, which will meet Gilas on Sunday, was still playing Japan at posting time.