TAB Baldwin was quick to put on the table what this new batch of Gilas Pilipinas should expect from him.
In the first official practice of the national team bound for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship, Baldwin already emphasized the need for his players to handle the ball and hit baskets from long range.
Big men Andray Blatche, Asi Taulava, Sonny Thoss, and incoming PBA rookie Troy Rosario were not spared by Baldwin from doing the dribbling drills and were even tasked at times to bring down the ball themselves.
The Gilas coach even had to stop practice and call for a huddle several times to remind them of the basic moves under his system, which also features swift ball movement similar to those seen from European squads.
Guards Terrence Romeo and Jimmy Alapag were also seen doing key moves simulating full court pressure from the opposing team.
The American-New Zealander coach likewise kept reminding the players to move around and always spread the floor.
“Stretch and go. Pop out here, stretch," Baldwin was often heard shouting during the practice that was opened to the media for the first time.
Obtaining a great deal of buzz was the presence of Alaska star Calvin Abueva in training for the very first time.
Also in attendance were the majority of the 16 players named to the national team pool list of Baldwin that includes Asi Taulava, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gary David, Dondon Hontiveros, Gabe Norwood, JC Intal, Aldrech Ramos and Jason Castro.
Veteran Kelly Williams took part in the early going of the scrimmage but had to be rushed to the hospital after slipping at center court and injuring his right knee.
Assisting Baldwin at the sidelines are Alex Compton, Jong Uichico, Norman Black, Josh Reyes, and Nash Racela.