ALTHOUGH still winless after three games in the 2014 Fiba World Cup, visiting Australian coach Rob Beveridge believes Gilas Pilipinas is capable of making a big impact in the world stage in the future.
Best remembered for steering Australia to the championship of the 2003 World Under-19 meet in Thessaloniki, Greece, Beveridge is in Manila for the next two weeks to oversee Alaska’s training camp at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
The highly-respected Aussie mentor said he’s actually impressed with the way Gilas has performed against traditional world basketball powerhouses Croatia and Argentina the last three days of the Fiba World Cup.
“Obviously, the size is always gonna be a major factor, but they (Gilas) are pushing those (strong) teams well, and they are not far off, they deserve to be at the World Cup,” Beveridge told Spin.ph shortly after the Aces’ first day of training camp on Tuesday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
But for Gilas to sustain its gains the past years, Beveridge explained the coaching staff will have to maintain the “no-quit” attitude and try to find its own identity in the sport.
“They need to find their own identity, like what is the Philippines going to be better at? And then, right from the juniors through the seniors division, if you’re gonna be a great shooting nation, all the juniors have to be great at shooting.
But if you want to be a fastbreaking team, it has to be all the way through,” explained Beveridge, whose 2003 Australian juniors team was bannered by current Golden State Warriors star center Andrew Bogut and shooter Brad Newley.
“Everybody’s gonna be great at something. So if the Philippines can work that out, they can continue to get better as a nation,” he added.
Beveridge had been to Manila in recent years, where he worked with coach Eric Altamirano in the National University Bulldogs’ training camps before the UAAP season.
Aside from handling Australia’s national junior team program from 2002 to 2004, Beveridge also served as the Nike Basketball Camp director from 2005 to 2013.
He also headed the Nike Hoop Summit for five years where he was credited for helping produce the likes of current NBA players like Aussie star Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka, Portland Trailblazers’ Nicolas Batum, Utah Jazz’s Enes Kenter, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson, and Frechman Kevin Seraphin of the Washington Wizards.