More adjustments are being done now that the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team has returned to practice on Tuesday.
New situations are being introduced to the squad after it emerged from a dayoff last Monday and went into scrimmages at the Angeles University Foundation Sports & Cultural Center in Pampanga.
National coach Tab Baldwin cut his 15-man roster to 13 players, with University of the Philippines cagers Javi Gomez de Liano and Jaydee Tungcab taken off the roster.
“I think it’s important for the players to learn how to figure things out for themselves. And we’re much in that stage. These players have got to develop a confidence in themselves, confidence that deserves to be there,” said Baldwin.
Gilas Pilipinas is preparing for a tuneup game on Wednesday with China after completing a 6-game sweep of Group A of the recent 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
This is in preparation for two Olympic Qualifiers that the two squads will join next week.
Gilas will be in Belgrade, Serbia, while China will head to Victoria, Canada, for two separate Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to be held from June 29 to July 4.
Baldwin said the players are now learning to deal with big leads that they establish, or those that their opponents get early in their games.
“They have to figure out the problems themselves,” said Baldwin, adding that in their coming games, he will not worry about the scores from the beginning of their games, whether they are leading by a big margin, or if they have fallen far behind.
“I’m much concerned about the score at the end of the game. I’ve seen many of today’s games. Too many big leads in a game disappear. In fact, I don’t trust that big lead if happens to be in our side, or that deficit. We’ll just play through it,” said Baldwin.
Dwight Ramos, Angelo Kouame and Justine Baltazar are among those who have remained, along with Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Isaac Go, William Navarro, Mike Nieto, Geo Chiu, Carl Tamayo, Jordan Heading, and LeBron Lopez.