Although Blue Eagles is one of the elite teams in the UAAP as they have loaded with talents as well as height, however former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin sees that “size” is one of the major concerns as they start their campaign for the 2018 William Jones Cup.
Philippines representative in Taiwan will be led by 2023 Gilas Cadets Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto while 6-foot-10 Angelo Kouame, 6-foot-8 Isaac Go, 6-foot-5 William Navarro and 6-foot-4 Patrick Maagdenberg are expected to operate inside the paint.
However despite of having that ceiling which made them difficult to beat in the local basketball tournament, Baldwin said that it’s not enough as they go head-to-head with other international ball-clubs.
“I think size will be a big issue for us and we just have to learn as quickly as we can on how to measure up to playing against bigger players, the opportunity and the experience for our players will be priceless,” said Baldwin.
“We have a responsibility to go there and not just learn but we have a responsibility to go there and perform,” added Baldwin. “And while I think it’s going to be difficult, I think our players really have the right frame of mind that they want this level of competition.”
Without a doubt, Blue Eagles appearance in 40th Jones Cup will help them gaining experience and will bring their game to the next level as they prepare for the upcoming new UAAP season.
Just a month ago, Thirdy Ravena and the rest of the Blue Eagles has defeated U-21 Greece national team, a testament that Ateneo has skills in an international competition.