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Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin expressed satisfaction with the effort of the national team in its tune-up game against Turkey, but his squad needs to double the effort when ‘real’ action begins in the Manila-leg Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) this week.
The national team lost a tight game after getting blown away two weeks ago in Istanbul.
Compared to their 103-68 lopsided defeat, however, the Nationals fought hard before losing, 84-76, last Friday.
The effort didn’t go unnoticed for Baldwin.
“It’s a much better (effort),” said Baldwin, whose team came a few executions away from upsetting the world No. 8 Turks.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche led the national team with 20 points, while Terrence Romeo came off the bench to add 16 points. Jayson Castro and Gabe Norwood had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
“We still have some room for improvement,” said Baldwin.
“We still have time to work on that. We expect France to present some different problems than Turkey but obviously lessons were learned and improvement was made.”