Baldwin on sparse crowd for Iran tune-up: 'If Ginebra can fill that place, why can't Gilas?'
Tab Baldwin thanked the fans who cheered Gilas on in the face of a late run by Iran. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin admitted he was expecting a lot more fans on the stands during the team’s tune-up game against Iran on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Baldwin said he was befuddled by the numerous empty seats at the Big Dome when the national team defeated Iran, 81-70, in the team’s final tune-up game on home soil before embarking on a lengthy European training camp.

Numbers as to attendance at the Big Dome were not readily available.

"I was appreciative of every single person in that stadium tonight. I was a little confused why more of those seats weren’t full," said Baldwin.

"This is actually a backhanded comment to a team like Ginebra but if Ginebra can fill that place, why can’t Gilas," he added.

[See Blatche, Tenorio deliver in the clutch as Gilas turns back Iran in tune-up]

Still, Baldwin said he appreciates the presence of the people who cheered for Gilas as it proved to be a key factor late in the game when the Filipino dribblers were able to hold off a late run by the Iranians.

"Crowd got into it. I was kinda hoping it was full. This is our national team. I think people should be falling all over themselves especially playing against an Asian giant in Iran. It was great that they got excited late in the game," said Baldwin.

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