GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin expressed concern over the possibility of the team’s lack of shooters for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next month with his top gunners still nursing injuries.
Marcio Lassiter missed his sixth straight practice on Thursday owing to bronchitis this time, while Jeff Chan, although practicing for the second straight day, is still recovering from a groin injury. Ryan Reyes is also nursing an Achilles injury.
“Yeah, I am (worried) with all of our two-guards having physical problems right now,” Baldwin said after practice. “But none of them is so serious that we don’t think that they won’t be there in the end.
“But again, it’s integration, chemistry, getting enough practice time to be comfortable and fluid with what we’re doing,” he was quick to add as his team continues to thrive in the perimeter and transition.
Baldwin has yet to have timetable for Lassiter’s return, but he hopes the San Miguel Beer sniper can be healthy in time for their European trip.
Gilas is set to leave for Greece on June 10.
“Our hope right now is at least to get him on the plane and hopefully have him for a day or two before,” he said. “But he’s not well. So we pray for him. He’s getting all the medical care he needs and we wish he will get healthy as soon as possible.”
Baldwin, though, is glad to see other non-pure shooters like Calvin Abueva and Ray Parks on target from long range, not to mention playmakers Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo also making the marks from outside as usual.
“You look at the way Calvin shot the ball today – he shot it tremendously and he’s been shooting the ball consistently for us,” the national coach said. “Ray is doing a good job shooting the ball. And we know that our guards, Terrence and Jayson, you know they can shoot the ball.
Naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche is also doing his part, taking some extra perimeter shots after practice.
“We have to find ways to make perimeter shots, because I don’t think we’re going to be a powerful inside team,” Baldwin said. “We’re still going to be perimeter-oriented and transition-oriented.”