TWELVE games in 12 weeks.
National coach Tab Baldwin believes a compact timetable is enough to prepare Gilas Pilipinas for the coming Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship set to begin on September 23 in Changsa, Hunan, China.
Baldwin said the annual William Jones Cup scheduled from August 29 to September 6 in Taipei will likely be the first stop for the nationals, who are looking to play around six to seven games in the tournament.
However, the country’s return to the annual cage meet is still under discussion.
“Yes, we’ll take what we can get and the ideal (number of games to play) is somewhere at 12. But for the Jones Cup, that’s still under discussion,” Baldwin told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
The Philippines failed to join the Jones Cup the last two years since winning the tournament in 2012 behind a Gilas team bannered by tournament MVP LA Tenorio.
The country’s invitation was withdrawn by organizers in 2013 in an offshoot to a shooting incident that led to the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in Batanes.
A year ago, coach Chot Reyes did not include the Jones Cup in the Gilas calendar and opted instead to bring the team to the United States and Europe for training as part of its preparation for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
Baldwin said he has met with some PBA team owners as part of the process of discussing the national team’s program and direction as it prepares for the coming Olympic qualifying tournament.
“So far, so good (meeting with a few PBA team owners), but I’m still waiting for (outgoing commissioner) boss Chito (Salud), on whoever he wants me to meet,” he said.
Baldwin also reiterated the league will make the proper announcement with regards to the list of players who will undergo tryouts with the team either in late July or early August.
He has actually submitted 26 names which he has in his list.