Toroman: Gilas must be 'better prepared tactically'
Serbian coach Rajko Toroman has fond memories of his time in the Philippines where he handled the first iteration of the Gilas program and served as consultant to several PBA teams in a span of three years.
Now a coach of the Indonesian national team that lost to the Philippines in the recent Fiba Asia Cup qualifier in Jakarta, Toroman has kept a close eye on the country he once led to a fourth place finish in a Fiba Asia tournament.
The Serbian, who steered Iran to an appearance in the 2008 Olympics, was quick to point out that the Philippines has a better chance at success at the international level now than when the time he was still at the helm.
With more size, more skillful and more athletically gifted players, Toroman believes the only thing that needs to improve for the country is its tactics when going to battle against the world’s elite teams.
“I think Philippine basketball is growing,” Toroman said in a recent episode of “Coaches Unfiltered” podcast.
“When I saw the players in Jakarta, they are playing Thirdy Ravena, Kiefer Ravena, [CJ] Perez, they are very athletic. In my time, they [were] always talking that the Philippines doesn’t have size, but the Philippines don’t have that kind of problem because they have [June Mar] Fajardo, they have Kai Sotto in the future they have Japeth [Aguilar], Greg Slaughter, and [JP] Erram guys who have size to be competitive.”
Toroman suggested that the country now focuses on being prepared tactically against the better teams in the world.
“They have to do maybe be better prepared tactically with the European teams because in Europe basketball is a little bit different,” Toroman said.
“Let’s say the best player in the Philippines, they score 35 points with 15 rebounds in 48 minutes a game but games in Euro League, Euro Cup, is more of tactical game. You cannot copy all these tactical things they are doing in Europe but you can see what you can use with your players.”