AS in any defeat, there’s a lesson to be learned from Gilas Pilipinas’ failed bid to qualify in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Coach Tab Baldwin stressed the need to play more tune-up games for the national team in future endeavors, especially if it ‘expects to be successful’ in international basketball.
“It’s very difficult for these guys to play at this level when you only do it in so few games a year,” said Baldwin in the aftermath of Gilas’ elimination from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday night with an 89-80 loss to New Zealand.
The national team held a three-week training camp in Europe prior to the qualifiers, but only played a total of four tune-up games – five if the Iran match is included – along the way, before starting its campaign for the lone berth to Rio staked in the tournament.
Baldwin said Gilas needs more than that, citing the training the Tall Blacks had undergone before proceeding to Manila.
“When you look at these other teams you look at New Zealand, I think they either have 10 or 12 matches in preparation,” said Baldwin. “You look at the European teams, this is their life. They play at this level all the time. So we need more of this.”
And the Gilas coach added there’s no other way to do it than this.
“Trust me there is no other pathway. if we want to start winning at this level, we have to take a bunch of more beating at this level to learn how to win in this level,” said Baldwin.