With Gilas Pilipinas sweeping all its three games to top Group A of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, coach Tab Baldwin spoke about how the young Gilas squad exceeded his expectations.

/ 25 June 2021

“I was pretty realistic coming in. And my expectations weren’t very high, so the fact that they’ve exceeded my expectations doesn’t take any of the pressure off from trying to make progress in every practice and in every game,” Baldwin said.

Gilas had a successful stint in the Clark bubble, defeating South Korea in a two-game series to end an eight-year drought and taking down Indonesia as well.

However, the grind does not stop for the young national pool as every minute of the game is in preparation for the big stage for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

“We still have a long way to go. So I’m not necessarily in the mood to be throwing compliments around. I recognize that the guys have done extremely well. The results are not very flattering, but the important thing is we have a lot of rope ahead of us and we have two years but we need every minute of it,” he said.

Gilas came off from an impressive 79-all draw against China on Wednesday before leaving for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

The all-cadet team will be facing Serbia on June 30 and will be taking on the Dominican Republic on the following day.

The top two teams in Group A will advance to the semifinals of the Belgrade OQT.