IT may be a bad time for Alaska, but likely a good one for Gilas.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin expects a highly-energized Calvin Abueva to show up at the Meralco gym on Tuesday when he, San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter, and the Rain or Shine trio of Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, and Paul Lee rejoin the national team in its buildup for the coming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.
Abueva, 28, is coming off a five-day break which saw him lick his wounds and shattered pride following another championship loss by the Aces against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
And Baldwin sees Abueva unleashing ‘The Beast’ in him to vent his frustration in the aftermath of the finals setback.
“Calvin’s obviously going to be motivated because that’s what happens when you lose a championship,” said the national coach. “You can’t wait to get back on the court.”
As for the Elasto Painters, Baldwin also said they will be coming over carrying with them the confidence they gained after winning the franchise’s second title since 2012.
“The guys that won will be in a great mood. There’ll be a lot of talking amongst the players. It will be enjoyable to have them here. I think when guys come out of the environment, it’s always, 'What’s the next challenge?'” said the American-New Zealander mentor.
Generally, Baldwin is thrilled to finally have almost the entire Gilas training pool come in full force, with naturalized player Andray Blatche coming in to join them this weekend.
“So I’m expecting them to inject some positive into what we’re doing and becoming strong,” he added.