'We want Baldwin' chants heard inside 'Big Dome' as fans dismayed with Gilas' stand vs NZ

'We want Baldwin' chants heard inside 'Big Dome' as fans dismayed with Gilas' stand vs NZ

Gilas struggled against New Zealand at home, and the fans did not like it at all. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—It was supposed to be a relatively quiet scene at the Smart Araneta Coliseum during the quarter break between the final two periods of the New Zealand-Gilas Pilipinas game for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

But majority of the sold-out crowd at the fabled indoor arena that made the most of Sunday night by watching live basketball were not liking what they were seeing: Gilas getting blown out at home by 17 points, 65-48, after 30 minutes of action.

So some of them, from out of nowhere, suddenly hurled a loud shout of "We want Baldwin!" during the free timeout.

Some others somehow chimed in too and made clap chants after the shout.

Moments later, when Gilas called a timeout with 3:14 left in the game and the outcome already decided, some more "Baldwin" shouts were heard inside "The Big Dome".

Those were expressions of dismay on how Gilas let the Tall Blacks pull away like that as if they believe Tab Baldwin could have done a better job against the Kiwis if he stayed on as Gilas coach.

The disappointment quickly spilled to social media after New Zealand's 88-63 win was formalized as more fans called for Baldwin's Gilas return.

Needless to say, it was a bad night for Philippine basketball, and the fans want it heard loudly.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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