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Despite sweep of MVP Cup, Gilas not yet FIBA Asia-ready says Baldwin

Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Even if Gilas Pilipinas took home the Master Gameface MVP Cup in fashion, Coach Tab Baldwin thinks this is not yet the Gilas team he expects to show up in the FIBA Asia Championship a week from Wednesday.

"I feel like we're not yet as professional as we need to be. We still make silly basketball mistakes. There's no excuse for that. A professional team doesn't do that. We're not ready [for FIBA Asia] yet," Baldwin said on Sunday night after completing a sweep of the pocket tournament.

He also admitted that the formation of the Gilas pool took place a few days late.

"This team is a very, very new and young team not in terms of age and experience but in terms of time together. You can't expect to have all the cohesion in the world and fluid basketball if that is the case," the American-Kiwi coach further told the press.

Baldwin hopes that the final stage of preparation, a one-week training camp in Cebu, will bear positive results.

He narrated, "We will have a week of seclusion away from the press and the public. We can get better in that environment. One of the our objectives now in this week is to bring ourselves to peak readiness in terms of our conditioning. It means making sure that our practices go from sort of high energy to high intelligence. We are refining. We introduced new stuff during this tournament. We will be identifying areas of weakness that we saw in the Jones Cup and the MVP Cup, and we will attack this weakness."