FIBA: Balkman to Gilas’ Best 12: “Represent the country well”
Paul Lintag on Jul 11, 2019 12:48 PM
“You wanna represent your country and you wanna be the best 12 of your country. And that’s a lot to say because the countries are big, you just gotta go out there and represent your country well. Play hard and play well,” — Renaldo Balkman on Gilas.
Renaldo Balkman already met and beat Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup.
Balkman was with Puerto Rico in 2014 when they broke the hearts of Gilas during group play in Spain.
Five years later, Balkman is in Manila, helping Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Asked just how tough it is to have some success at that level, Balkman kept it pretty simple.
The FIBA World Cup is where all the best players play and you just have to go out in give it maximum effort.
“You gotta understand when it comes to the World Cup, it’s the best 12 of their country,” Balkman said.
“You just gotta go out there and play hard, and play smart. Whatever you need to do, you gotta play smart basketball. They’re bring their best guys out there to play every single time,” he added.
In 2014, Balkman knew that his Puerto Rico team brought its best 12 players to Spain as was the case with Gilas Pilipinas.
The goal is to win naturally, that’s why all national teams take the time to prepare for the World Championships. However, it’s also important to represent your country well.
At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to really.
“When I was playing for Puerto Rico, we brought our best 12 against their [Gilas] best 12. We won but I mean, at the end of the day that’s what you train to do,” Balkman said.
“You wanna represent your country and you wanna be the best 12 of your country. And that’s a lot to say because the countries are big, you just gotta go out there and represent your country well. Play hard and play well,” he added.
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