The development of professional players for the international game, according to Tab Baldwin, will result in Gilas Pilipinas relying less on the PBA to fill the squad positions of the national team.
"The PBA gave us generous support," Gilas Pilipinas program director told reporters Thursday evening, shortly after the National Pool's penultimate training session before their flight to Jakarta on Friday night.
"In the early days of this project, it was always assumed that we would be more dependent on the PBA than we hoped," he added.
To reduce this dependency, Baldwin hopes to create a foundation for the national team in the future – young stars who are trained to develop individual skills that are suitable for international play.
The Gilas Pool already has several young players to work with: Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Jaydee Tungcab, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, the Nieto twins Mike and Matt and Juan Gomez de Liaño.
The former Gilas mentor said the players would work with Alex Compton and another coach who would work on the development of each athlete. Baldwin said that he wants to involve someone who is familiar with the international game, especially with the European style. Baldwin revealed that one of the names thrown around is Serbia's Nenad Trunic.
"The goal is to develop international basketball players, so developing a team is not really important at the moment," added Baldwin.
"It's a very, very selfish approach to them now. We want them to dedicate themselves and become the greatest player they can be without having to worry about a team's goals," he added .
Gilas Pilipinas battles Indonesia in Jakarta's Fiba Asia Cup qualifier on Sunday, showing a lineup of five players who have never played a single professional game.
And if everything goes according to Baldwin's plan, that number will increase as the national program advances.
"[It] will be good for the PBA because we will be less of a nuisance," said Baldwin. "Good for us too, because we will have a more professional team."
"It's not to say that PBA's involvement is not required. If so, our partnership with them will continue in whatever way is necessary to strengthen our team," he added.
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