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Tab defends choices

Based on the competition they will face in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin defended his selection of the 12-man national team which he said is designed to take on “taller” opponents in the event slated July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“In the end, it was the 12 that was tailored for the competition,” said Baldwin Tuesday night after the national team arrived from Turkey following an 18-day training in European.

“It’s not the best 12 players. It’s not the most valuable 12 players. It’s the players that we believe match what we need to do in this particular OQT,” Baldwin explained.

“And size was a huge factor, and discipline, the ability to play cohesively and as a unit, and submit themselves to what the team is doing,” said the American-Kiwi who is on his second year as national team mentor.

Baldwin was criticized for his decision not to include Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, and to some extent LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.