SINGAPORE - Disappointed with how Gilas cadet played its debut in the 28th Southeast Asian Games, coach Tab Baldwin had every reason to smile on Thursday after seeing his team respond in the right way.
The Philippines routed Malaysia, 100-48, for its second straight win which obviously, had Baldwin feeling a lot better than in the Filipinos’ debut 81-52 win over Indonesia the day before.
Although Gilas won over the Indons, Baldwin blasted the team for relying on its talent rather than on the system. This time, the Filipinos got more than a passing grade from the strict American-New Zealander mentor.
“They played a lot better,” said Baldwin. “They came out from the beginning with the right mentality and right purpose.”
The Gilas cadets raced to a 20-8 first quarter lead and never looked back as Troy Rosario scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half.
Almond Vosotros also helped the Philippines sustained its big lead by adding 21 points, including a triple as Gilas reached the century mark, sending the pro-Pinoy crowd into a frenzy.
“That was the message. You guys heard the message,” Baldwin told reporters. “It was in the newspapers. What I like about this team is that they responded. It’s a fantastic group. As long as we keep our mentality right, we’ll be happy in the end.”
On Friday, the Gilas cadets will face Timor Leste, a team making its debut in the men’s basketball competition of the biennial meet.