CEBU – While Gilas Pilipinas’ sojourn down south offered the team moments of respite from the rigors of preparing for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship, everyone on the squad remains on edge and understandably so.
With the tournament that dangles a spot to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to the winner a mere five days away, head coach Tab Baldwin wants every cut, every switch, and every coverage to be as precise as possible.
But with the white squad led by latest crowd darling Terrence Romeo messing up on its defensive coverage on consecutive possessions during a five-on-five drill, the fiery American-New Zealander halted play and let the team have it in scathing fashion.
“How many times can one man **ck up without anyone saying anything?!” bellowed a visibly irate Baldwin after another blown defensive assignment which he specifically gave instructions during a huddle just moments ago in the team’s fifth day of practice at the Hoopsdome in Lapu Lapu City.
“Who are you being nice to?!” barked Baldwin to the players. “Iran? They’d kick your ass back to Manila!” he added, referring to the mighty reigning Fiba-Asian champions.
Baldwin then directed his attention to Romeo who, day by day, is trying to learn the nuances of becoming a true point guard and took him to task. “Lead this team!”
With the fire lit, Gilas ramped up its activity and went on to play three highly-competitive scrimmages before calling it a night at 11 p.m.