MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Gabe Norwood is thrilled with the progress that the national team is making as they continue to hold practices twice weekly, ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The national team has been at work for some three weeks now, and held its first tune-up game last Monday when they battled Mighty Sports to an 85-all draw.
“In terms of our energy, our ability to help one another offensively and defensively, I think it’s really positive,” Norwood said of their performance in the tune-up game, which saw Gilas recover from an early 10-point deficit.
“I think that’s a good sign for us moving forward, as we get the time to put more work in and really kind of execute things a little bit better,” he added.
For Norwood, what matters for Gilas Pilipinas is that they maximize the time that they are given. Right now, the national team continues to practice twice a week. They are expected to ramp up their preparations once Andray Blatche arrives.
“These time constraints, we always want more,” said Norwood. “But at the end of the day, we’re making the most of it.”
“There’s no wasted days,” he stressed. “That’s what I try to keep telling them. You can’t waste a day in these situations, and you gotta maximize them, especially until Dray gets here.”
Right now, Norwood said they need to “fine-tune” the system that’s already in place and set their rules on defense.
He noted that against Mighty Sports, they were able to help each other defensively even though they have yet to work on it yet as a team – another good sign for Gilas Pilipinas.
“Without really setting rules or anything, we kinda just went out there and did it,” he said. “I think it will get better when we kind of have some structure to our defense.”
“But other than that just execution on offense, and understanding roles.”
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