With his eyes on the future, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) re-appointed Tab Baldwin on Sunday as Gilas Pilipinas head coach, giving the National Five arguably the best man possible to manage the national program before the next two Fiba) events.
“I hope my experience as an international coach and my knowledge of our playing systems will be an added advantage for the team in the upcoming challenges the team faces,” Baldwin said in a statement.
“I am honored to continue to work with this exceptional coaching staff as we strive to take these next steps in the direction we envision for. [the] 2023 (Fiba World Cup), ”added the American-Kiwi mentor who coached Gilas with relative success from 2015 to 2016. He is expected to coach Gilas in the Asian Cup (ACQ) qualifiers at Clark Freeport and the very important Olympic qualifying tournament. (OQT) in Serbia.
By reinstating Baldwin, the national federation is not only bringing in someone who previously held the coaching position, but also taking full charge of the mastermind of the program designed for the 2023 World Cup that the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.
“Basically, the reason is that it is his program. Being his schedule, he wants to make sure that any adjustments to be made are all in line with his preferences, ”said Ryan Gregorio, special assistant to SBP President Al Panlilio, in a virtual presser later in the day.
“And he understands the international game better than all of us or his coaching staff,” he continued.
Baldwin’s staff will consist of former national coach Jong Uichico, Caloy Garcia, Boyet Fernandez, Sandy Arespacochaga, Alton Lister and Sandro Soriano. Baldwin’s appointment follows Fiba’s departure signal allowing Ange Kouame to finally fulfill his duties as the great naturalized man of Gilas.
Kouame served Baldwin at Ateneo, one of the country’s main university programs, and that familiarity should come in handy not only at ACQ where two games against the old hangman South Korea await the Filipinos, but also in the OQT which begins on June 29, where the Philippines finally have the chance to return to the Summer Games, an absence that has lasted 49 years.
Not sure about Kai
The same could be said of several players in the Gilas Pool: Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, Will Navarro and Dwight Ramos, who have all played for Baldwin in various capacities.
Meanwhile, Kai Sotto’s stint with Gilas in the ACQ remains unresolved, as announced by the SBP.
“As to whether we will see it right away, I will give you a more specific answer in the coming days. But right now we’re just happy he’s with the team, ”said Gregorio. Sotto and the rest of the Filipino delegation arrived at the Quest Hotel in Clark Freeport on Sunday afternoon.
“He will always be assessed based on his suitability for the match, that’s part of my discussion with coach Tab,” added Gregorio Sotto, who returned home on June 1, coming out of a government-imposed quarantine. The 7-foot-3-inch teenage prodigy, who recently signed with Australian club Adelaide 36ers, is part of the towering triumvirate being prepared for the Philippine team banner at the 2023 World Cup.
The timing of his arrival, however, cost Sotto sufficient training time with the cadet-laden pool run by Baldwin.
If cleared, Sotto can complete a truly imposing frontline with the 6-foot-10 Kouame.
“The players are responding very well to the system and to each other. Bumps along the road are inevitable due to their youth and relative inexperience, but it could also be double-edged swords, ”Baldwin said of his team when asked about it. that a team of young people could do compared to a team of professional players.
“I know that when the going is going, these men will not only move forward, but most importantly, they will rise up with the energy, athleticism and determination that their youth gives them,” he added.
Baldwin’s best moment as Gilas coach came in 2015 in China, where he led a team under the banner of Andray Blatche and the PBA stars, where they defeated Iranian regional power before moving on. settle for the silver medal behind the Chinese in a controversial title match.
“It’s a development team that isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress,” Baldwin said.
“When you plan for the long term, you prioritize progress over perfection, because it provides more opportunities to grow and learn. This is what, in my opinion, can make us worthy of a place on the world stage 2023. ”INQ
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