Tab Baldwin eyes ‘Spartan’ training camp for Gilas in Greece

Gilas Pilipinas will try to make good use of its 17-day European trip by working on team chemistry, move away from distraction and play several tune-up games to prepare the national team for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila this July.

National coach Tab Baldwin said the high-altitude training at Karpenisi in Greece isn’t state-of-the-art, composed only of a basketball stadium and a weight room. But the sports facilities attached at the hotel, coupled with the cooler atmosphere makes the place ideal for training.

“It’s a stadium attached to the hotel, a stadium and a weight room. I don’t think it’s state-of-the-art, but it’s one of the better situations in Greece,” Baldwin said after Gilas’ practice at the Meralco gym.

“It’s up in the mountains so it would be cooler. Still summer time there, but it won’t be down there in the heat of the sea level,” he added.

Baldwin said the Greece national men’s basketball team also trained at Karpenisi during its build up for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The American-Kiwi coach said they simply have to make use of the limited time they have, hopeful that everyone could learn a lot from their upcoming tuneup matches against Iran on June 7-8 in Manila, Turkey national team on June 21 in Istanbul, Italy on June 25 and either Canada or China on June 26 in a pocket tournament in Bologna.

Gilas winds up its series of tuneup matches against Turkey again on July 1 in Manila.

The Filipinos then plunge to action on July 5 against the Tony Parker-led France at the opening day of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava