Tab Baldwin eager to know who Gilas will face first in Manila Olympic qualifiers
Gilas coach Tab Baldwin with team manager Butch Antonio during the PSA Forum. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said he won’t be staying up late just to monitor the drawing of lots for teams seeing action in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set later this year.

Draw Day will be held Tuesday night in Mies, Geneva at the FIBA House of Basketball, or at about the wee hours of Wednesday, Manila time.

Despite the Philippines hosting one of three simultaneous qualifiers set July 5-10 – the two others to be staged in Serbia and Italy – and interest high on the five teams that will be coming over to join Gilas Pilipinas in its group, Baldwin said he’d rather spend the rest of the night in bed.

“I don’t have to lose any sleep over it,” said Baldwin when asked by if he’ll be watching the live streaming of the event from Geneva, where Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios is representing the Philippines.

“I can’t do anything about it.”

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The 57-year-old American-New Zealander said he’ll just try to get updates and information from the SBP the morning after and then plan the course of action Gilas Pilipinas will take in preparation for the qualifying meet to the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Of utmost concern for Baldwin though, is which team Gilas Pilipinas faces for its opening game. The veteran mentor said winning the team’s first game should say a lot about the Filipinos’ campaign in the meet.

‘I’m just worried about who we will be playing in our first game in the tournament,” said Baldwin on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate, where he was joined by Gilas team manager Butch Antonio.

[See Gilas needs at least three wins to get shot at ticket to Rio]

“In a short tournament like this, you must come out winning.”

A total of 18 countries to be divided into three groups, are participating in the race for the three remaining Olympic berths.

The six teams will be split into two brackets of three each.  Groupmates play each other once in the preliminaries and the top two placers advance to the knockout semifinals, with the survivors disputing the ticket to Rio.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos