As Gilas Pilipinas about to wrap up their preparation, head coach Tab Baldwin hopes the ‘impossible’ becomes possible when Gilas go for the long shot of qualifying to the Rio Olympics.
Following the ‘honest’ comment of Turkey coach Ergin Ataman on the chances of the national team against world powerhouse France, Baldwin acknowledged it though he believes on the improbable which he hopes would match with the hardwork of his players.
“Look, he’s a clever guy and he gave an honest opinion but the world of sports is full of impossible occurrences and we’re gonna try for one,” said the American-Kiwi coach on Ataman’s opinion after their first training at the Mall of Asia Arena after an 18-day Europe training camp.
Ataman doesn’t see Gilas winning over France.
“Philippines beating France is impossible for me,” he said in a TV interview upon their arrival the other night. “Against France I don’t give any chance to the Philippines.”
But Baldwin and Gilas relish the challenge.
“Impossible is like perfection, its never really there, it’s never really impossible and its never possible to be perfect,” he discussed. “France can’t be perfect, they can have a bad day, and we can find a form that’s gonna amaze everybody, so that’s the intent, that’s the desire.”
Gilas will have to win a single game to secure a berth in the crossover playoffs in the Manila qualifier to be held here in the same venue on July 5-1O.
Baldwin recognized that they will be the clear underdog in their group, which includes France and New Zealand, but he stressed that they will strike for every opportunity they can get to upset the oppositions.
“Underdogs win sometimes. We take heart from that, we don’t ask for a miracle nor expect a miracle, but we expect an opportunity and we expect to build the strength of our team to the best that it can be,” he said.
And with an expected horde of passionate fans backing up the Gilas campaign in this rare stint, Baldwin hopes it can be the final ingredient in achieving the feat.
“We know that when this place is packed, it’s worth some points for us and we hope to exploit that to the best of our abilities and give them something to cheer about.” – By Jason Mercene
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH