MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas waited eight years between wins against South Korea, with the last one before Wednesday coming back in 2013.
But faced with another opportunity to humble the mighty Koreans in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers Sunday, Tab Baldwin and his wards are not planning to wait years anew.
Baldwin admitted that although Gilas' priority is to develop the program for the long term and not only see the pocket tournament in Pampanga as the end goal, they will do everything in their power to come away with the win for the second time in four days.
"It's both a short term goal of the team to be able to play as well as we can against Korea, but also to learn how to do that with a very short turnaround in terms of preparing to play big games and tournaments… But at the same time, we're not going out on the court to lose," said Baldwin after their 76-51 thrashing of Indonesia on Friday.
"In fact, we already read that the Korean coach felt that we were lucky to win the game and frankly I think that's pretty rich, for any coach to walk off a game in which you lose the game and claim that it was good luck on the part of your opponent," he added, taking a jab at Coach Cho Sang Hyun's remarks on Wednesday.
The Korean mentor said that it was only a "lucky shot" from SJ Belangel at the buzzer that gave Gilas the win over them.
With a chance to prove them wrong when they lock horns this afternoon, Baldwin is making sure his wards remember Cho's words.
"We will make sure that that is highlighted, and I'm sure that that will give our players a little bit of extra incentive and I don't think we will be going out there to make friends on Sunday," declared Baldwin.
Gilas tips off against Korea for their last game of the Asia Cup qualifiers at 3:00 p.m. later today.
A win over Korea will give Gilas an undefeated 6-0 slate throughout the three windows of qualifiers games.
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