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Tab wants humble Gilas

As the national team Gilas Pilipinas starts its training camp in Greece, there is another aspect of the game that coach Tab Baldwin wants to achieve as part of preparation for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) staled July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

And that’s the character of his players.

Baldwin and the 14-man training pool left for Karpinissi, Greece late Friday for training camp, including 12 players from the country’s No. 1 sports entertainment league, the PBA.

Considered as ‘elite’ athletes here at home, Baldwin said that viewpoint of ‘cockiness’ has to change since the national team will be facing far more talented and disciplined squads in the OQT.

While there is no question about the humbleness of players, the 57-year-old Baldwin said that being cocky is a big no-no especially against some of the best teams in the world.

“How can a group of guys be humble and cocky at the same time,” said Baldwin, referring to a question he asked in a recent conversation with former national team player Jimmy Alapag.

“I mean cocky and not confident. I think they (players) are humble because that’s their nature. But they are cocky because… we have most of the elite players in the PBA,” added Baldwin.

“We’ve got to hammer that out of them. We’ve got to be humble about our ability, as well as just being humble by nature,” said Baldwin.

The national team is in Group B of the OQT and will battle France and New Zealand in the first round. If the Filipinos are fortunate to make it to the second round, they will face Turkey, Canada or Senegal – all bracketed in Group A.

Only the top two teams from each group after the first round will advance in crossover semifinal stage. The winners will dispute that lone spot for a chance to play in the Rio Olympics in August.