CEBU CITY – In spite of the snail’s pace that the Gilas Pilipinas is progressing with in preparations for the Fiba Olympic qualifiers this July, head coach Tab Baldwin is choosing to look at the glass as being half-full.
With the national team limited to once-a-week practices, Baldwin admitted to Spin.ph it is a struggle to progress at a much faster pace especially with the difficulty to put healthy bodies on the floor while the PBA season is in progress.
Still, this was something he expected and was prepared for.
“(We’re progressing) slowly. I guess that is to be expected when you’re training only once a week. We only had seven players on the floor last night (Monday night) so of course, we’re not going to advance by leaps and bounds,” said Baldwin, who was in town to meet up with Ateneo de Cebu officials and alumni.
“But it is also a process built around the concept of trying to introduce a lot of things to the players now so that when we do come in to a camp environment, we can eliminate a lot of that introductory information which can be tedious for the players and the coaches and can take an inordinate amount of time.
"So if we can get a lot of that out of the way now, that should help us down the road,” he added.
As someone who doesn’t want to waste time especially with the limited training period for the much-anticipated meet that will be hosted by the Philippines in July, Baldwin said the current set-up is turning into an exchange of information between him, the coaches and the players.
“It’s just difficult for the players and the coaches to have these types of training sessions that we’re not used to. They lack a lot of intensity, they lack a lot of physical duress and they’re much more built around an exchange of information,” the veteran mentor bared.
“Adapting to and adopting knowledge that we’re giving them and that’s going to be the nature of the Monday sessions until the end of the second conference. For sure when the playoffs come around in the second conference, we won’ be getting much attention and we may cancel the Monday sessions much like we did in the first conference.”
And so the cram is on for the Gilas pool to try and grasp a system which Baldwin and the players hope will work against the likes of NBA player-laden teams such as France and Canada.
“We’re into developing the system that we’ll use. Gaining a comprehensive and working knowledge of the systems and having the attitude to perfect those systems is what we’re going to try to do. The other thing is to understand our opposition. Both of those goals, we’ll have the opportunity to work on.”