Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside PhilippinesGILAS91
Pingris' inclusion to bridge 'old, successful' Gilas teams to the new one, says Baldwin
by Reynald Magallon, February 08, 2020 11:16pm
Gilas program director Tab Baldwin brought in long time Gilas Pilipinas member Marc Pingris for one reason - to bridge the old and successful Gilas teams to the current young Gilas squad.
Baldwin explained Pingris' inclusion to the pool for the February window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers was to help the young pool of players being eyed to comprise the national team come the 2022 FIBA World Cup, to develop the culture of representing the country. And that was something Baldwin believed Pingris had embodied in his previous stints with the national team.
"His inclusion was really to bridge the former Gilas teams that has been successful with this Gilas program and to inject into it I think the spirt the committment and the passion he has for the national team," said Baldwin.
Pingris was known as the emotional leader and the heart of the national team since his inclusion in the 2014 Gilas Pilipinas squad that ended the country's drought in appearances in the World Cup. The 'Pinoy Sakuragi' went on to become a vital part of the national team.
Baldwin stressed that exactly what he wanted Pingris to share to the younger players in the pool saying the 38 year old forward was the perfect example for dedication and committment to the national team.
"Because this the national team and we are trying to, first and foremost develop a culture and it needs to be a culture of belief, it needs to be a culture of dedication of culture and committment, Ping is the best example I was ever around in my years in Gilas," explained Baldwin.
Baldwin added that having a large number of young players into the pool makes it crucial to have the right leader to lead them by example.
"We have so many young players, and one of the things the young players need is some leadership, we wanted to get the right kind of leader," said Baldwin.
"Somebody that could inspire these younger players and inform this younger players of how important it is to play for your country. How seriously you have to take, ho professional you have to behave, " he further explained.
Moreover, Baldwin said Pingris still have value to the team especially with Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger pulling out from the pool.
"Ping still has value as player, I think when you see all the big guys in the sidelines injured today. You know we're gonna need every big body we could get to play as well," said the former Gilas mentor.
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