Baldwin confident Gilas can shake off France loss, turn focus to NZ, in 24-hour span
Tab Baldwin and his Gilas team must put the narrow loss to France behind them and turn their focus to the do-or-die game against New Zealand on Wednesday - all in a span of 24 hours. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas has been through this situation a lot of times before that Tab Baldwin believes it can easily  move on following the sorry loss to France and switch back to beast mode in time for its all-important game in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday.

Baldwin doesn’t see any reason for the Filipinos to look back and rue the missed opportunity following a 93-84 loss to Tony Parker and Les Bleus on Tuesday night. Instead, he expects the team to come out with an even greater resolve to win against New Zealand and book a berth in the semifinals.

“If you’re that unprofessional that you can’t leave a possession behind and leave a game behind because you got an important possession or important game in front of you, then you shouldn’t be playing at this level,” said the veteran international coach.

[See Blatche admits Gilas lost discipline in loss to France: 'We got selfish']

The vital match is set at 9 p.m. also at the Mall of Asia Arena, and marks the debut of the Tall Blacks, the very same team Baldwin once guided all the way to the Fiba World Championship and the Olympics.

Looking back, Baldwin admitted the setback against France ‘stings a little bit’ especially after seeing how Gilas managed to stay with the world’s No. 5 ranked team for almost 40 minutes, even leading the French by as many as 10 points at one point in the game.

“We proved we have a chance in this game. There’s a lot of doubters as to whether we can compete. So they feel bad, they feel disappointed,” he pondered.

But being the men that they are, the 58-year-old American-New Zealander sees Gilas turning things around in so short a time.

“Twenty-four hours take care of a lot of things in life. Putting this loss behind us and the importance of tomorrow’s game should do everything (for us),” he stressed.

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“I don’t think our coaching staff needs to be given any motivation or thoughts to understand the task. We’re pretty confident the guys are capable of doing it.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos