GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin is facing a dilemma on what kind of team he will be forming and what brand of basketball the national team will dish out for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.
After building a national side predicated on speed in the FIba Asia Championship, Baldwin has been forced to rethink his plans with giants like June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter now at his disposal.
While welcoming their presence, the national coach is hoping they won’t slow the squad down when the Filipino dribblers gun for one of the three remaining berths to the Rio Olympics in the wildcard qualifiers in July.
“It’s nice to have them,” Baldwin said of the twin towers. “But we’ll have to see what the mix of players looks like once we get further down the road.”
“Because there are some question marks about how good can we be as a basketball team if we’re slowed down by a lot of size as opposed to how good are we going to be if we’re really fast and really quick and really aggressive, and really athletic,” he continued.
“So those questions are there and they will be answered in time.”
A run-and-gun, long-range shooting identity has worked in the past for Gilas, which returned to the world stage last year and grabbed a second straight silver medal in the continental showpiece this year.
Baldwin has always said that the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, the reigning PBA MVP, is a shoo-in to the national team, but the addition of the 6-11 Slaughter in the pool gives him another dilemma.
“It’s up to June Mar and Greg to make sure that they give us the benefit of their size without slowing us down too much,” Baldwin said.