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‘Gilas needs more time to prepare’

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas lauded the effort and sheer guts of the 12-man Gilas Pilipinas team that finished runner-up in the Fiba Asia Championship despite having a short time preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Changsha, China.

Not lost to SBP executive director Sonny Barrios was the fact the team of coach Tab Baldwin had to cramp a seven-week training highlighted by a whirlwind stint in an Estonia pocket tournament and the Jones Cup competition, before leaving for the Sept. 23 to Oct. 3 tournament.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios shares to mediamen the experience of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Championship, where the team placed runner-up to host China. Ey Acasio

Yet, the Filipinos just fell a win short of ending the country’s more than four decades of searching for an Olympic seat after losing to the host country in the championship game, 78-67.

“Kaya pupurihin mo talaga ‘yung 12 na ito from the very start,” said Barrios in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tueday, noting how the champion team went on a seven-month European stint just to prepare for the Fiba-Asia meet.

“You should prepare them (team) with enough time. Tayo less than two months, alam niyo ‘yung China? Seven months lang naman,” the SBP executive added.

Barrios also got to understand why Baldwin, whom he describes as someone who’s extensive in international coaching, needed longer time to prepare Gilas Pilipinas for a major tournament.

“Coach Tab explained to me he has a lot of plays because everything depends on which opponent Gilas is playing. Kung Iran, he has a different set of plays na para sa Iran lang, the same with China, and the others.

“Kaya from that point, I understand ‘yung pangangailangan ng isang coach for a long period of time (to prepare) especially if you get to that level,” Barrios added in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Shakey’s, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

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