The young players of Gilas Pilipinas have concluded their Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) stint in Serbia with a loss against the Dominican Republic team.
The Filipino delegation finished their second match in the tourney with a 27-point deficit against their Caribbean foes, 94-67.
Though the Philippine team gained the upper hand during the first two quarters, their momentum slowly fizzled out in the third and the fourth, which the Dominican Republic used to their advantage.
Coach Tab Baldwin praised the Dominican team for being well-prepared against his players, noting he was ‘outcoached.’
“No excuses and not much to say about it other than that we were outplayed, outcoached, and outgunned,” Baldwin shared.
“You got to give the Dominican Republic credit for the way that they played and doing what they had to do to win and win convincingly,” he added.
A lot of fans were shocked at the outcome of the recent game, after all, Gilas played well against Serbia, a team that trashed the Dominican Republic earlier in the tournament with an 18-point surplus.
According to Baldwin, people forget that other teams are also representing their country.
“Everybody gets excited about the fact that we played for our country and played for our flag, sometimes I think we forget, so do the other teams,” Baldwin said.
He noted that the Dominican Republic’s loss to Serbia is probably what fueled their amazing play against the Philippines.
“There is an awful lot of pride in the other teams and virtually every international basketball team that plays for their country. When their pride is challenged, you should expect a very, very hard response. We got that in the second half,” Baldwin explained.
After their loss, the 12-man roster of Gilas will return to the Philippines to focus on the FIBA Asia Cup, which will be hosted by Indonesia in August.
“We will now hit home with lessons in our pocket,” Baldwin said.
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Image credit: FIBA Basketball’s Official Website