SINGAPORE — The Gilas Pilipinas cadets have no plan to humiliate Timor Leste but expects to be at their best as they eye a sweep of the preliminaries in the 28th Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball competition on Friday at the OCBC Arena.
The Gilas cadets are expected to runaway with the victory against a team that is making its debut campaign in the biennial meet. Timor Leste lost to Indonesia in its first game, 135-21.
Up against a lowly opponent, head coach Tab Baldwin expects the Filipinos’ energy to go down.
“With Timor Leste, we will probably work on different things. I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be an energy letdown. But we don’t want that,” said Baldwin.
The two teams tangle at 6 p.m.
Entering the match, the national coach said he only wants the team to play the right way.
“Timor Leste is new in the competition and they are here to get experience. We don’t want to embarrass anybody. We want to play well. We want all of the players to play well. But let’s see how that game unfolds before talking about that game,” said Baldwin.
To show that he wants the team to play the right way, Baldwin took out Glenn Khobuntin in the fourth quarter of the game against Malaysia on Thursday after some choice words for a Malaysian big man following a layup.
“It’s personal but I don’t think that’s appropriate,” said Baldwin when asked about the incident. “I don’t think that reflects what we as a national team wants to portray. Glenn understands that.
Baldwin, however, made it clear Khobuntin only retailed.
“In fact, it was a retaliation. Let’s leave it at that. But you don’t need to retaliate. Not when you are up by 40 points,” said Baldwin.