JORDAN’S naturalized player Jimmy Baxter admitted he will be going to their match against Gilas Pilipinas on Friday with almost no knowledge about the host squad.
Baxter is raring to help Jordan bounce back after an opening-day loss to Chinese-Taipei on Thursday, 87-91, but admits it will be difficult to play against team that is Greek to him.
The 32-year-old swingman from South Florida said he knows no one else in the Gilas squad aside from fellow American Marcus Douthit.
"I don't even know who they are, I have no thoughts but we have to win the games so it's gonna be tough for sure," he said. "The only one I know is Marcus, everybody else is new to me."
Jordan and the Philippines clash at the Mall of Asia Arena at 8:30 p.m.
Although he said it will be difficult to play the home team, Baxter noted that he is used to playing in hostile venues, having suited up for numerous European teams such as Oliveirense Simoldes (Portugal), Dijon (France), Pavia and Reggiana Reggio Emilia (Italy), Ventspils (Latvia), Oostende (Belgium), Besiktas ColaTurka (Turkey) and Elitzur Ashkelon (Israel).
"We need to win for sure but it's going to be a tough challenge. They're the home team, the crowd favorites," said the American reinforcement.
"I played in Europe before and nobody's more fanatic than Eurupeans," he said. "So I'm used to it, so the Filipinos being basketball fanatics is not new to me, not even a little bit."
Baxter had a huge game with 30 points, but that was not enough to propel the Jordanians over Taipei and he vowed to come out with a much better effort against the Filipinos.
“We can’t worry about the past, that can’t help us in the future,” said Baxter. “They (Filipinos) are a good team, but we’ll do better in our next game.”
“We’ve got to win… that’s the bottom line.”
Jordan finished a strong second behind China in the 2011 edition in Wuhan, China. But the team is now without ace playmaker Sam Daghles and top rebounder Zaid Abbas and their absence was felt in the game against Taipei. With Richard Dy