AMERICAN coach Tab Baldwin sees a similar style of play for the Philippines and Chinese-Taipei going to their long-anticipated Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship showdown on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Baldwin was in attendance during the Taiwanese’ game against Saudi Arabia Friday as he scouted Gilas Pilipinas’ next opponent along with national team deputies Jong Uichico, Josh Reyes, and Nash Racela ahead of their clash during the final game of the preliminaries.
A former head coach of New Zealand who was brought into the country to help Gilas Pilipinas in its quest for one of three berths at stake in the World Basketball Championship next year, Baldwin sees the Philippines-Chinese-Taipei game being decided on which gets to outplay each other with their similar skill sets.
“I think we are fairly similar in style,” said Baldwin in an interview with Spin.ph right after the Chinese Taipei-Saudi Arabia clash, which the Taiwanese easily won, 90-67.
“Both teams like the up-tempo game and the outside shot. We are a lot similar with the big men, but we are not a big team.
“It’s going to be down to who defends better and who shoots better. I don’t see both teams changing their styles. We might try to slow each other down, but we won’t try to slow ourselves down,” added Baldwin.
The outside shooting of Chinese Taipei was in full display in its victory over Saudi Arabia as it converted 17 triples in the game - seven coming from Lu Cheng-ju.
Expecting both teams will continue to throw up outside shots, Baldwin said rebounding will also be a key.
“Rebounding will be a factor. With two teams that put a lot of points on the board, you don’t want to give them any opportunities. It’s about who can defend better and who will have a hot-shooting game will go out on top,” said Baldwin.