An American coach with a vast experience handling Asian teams is among those whose names have surfaced to replace Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes whose tenure may have ended following the creation of a PBA-SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) committee to select a new mentor for the national basketball team.
Usually reliable sources in the PBA said the names of Tim Cone of Purefoods, Jong Uichico of Talk ’N Text, and Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine were dropped as top prospects for the coaching job.
Also in the list is former Purefoods and Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, currently the alternate governor of the Bolts in the PBA Board.
But the most intriguing and surprising prospect that has emerged from various sources is American coach Tab Baldwin, currently a consultant in the TNT coaching staff.
Baldwin may not ring a bell but his credentials include being the former mentor of New Zealand, which he led to a semifinal stint during the 2002 World Cup in Indianapolis, USA.
Besides handling the NZ “Tall Blacks”, the 56-year-old Baldwin coached the national teams of Lebanon in 2010, and Jordan in 2011, a team that finished second to China in that year’s Asian championship.
When told that his name was mentioned as possible Gilas coach, the Jacksonville, Florida native said he does not put any significance on news based on rumors.
“No. I can’t comment on that because nobody has approached me. I don’t really comment on rumors, whether they’re in the media or when somebody comes up to me and says I heard this,” Baldwin yesterday after TNT’s practice session at the Moro Lorenzo gym inside the Ateneo campus.
“I’ve been in this industry 30 years. I think it’s foolish to comment on things that aren’t reality. I’m like everybody else, I don’t know anything other than rumors and I’m not interested in rumors. I’ll just sit back and wait, and see what happens,” added Baldwin.
Though Baldwin had nothing to say about the coaching report, he had an opinion about the Gilas program and what a coach should do to improve the team.
Baldwin said that whoever will handle the team needs time to prepare and have the best players available for the national team.
“Just continue what they’ve been doing,” said Baldwin. “You need a good preparation plan, you need to get the right players, have plenty of preparation time. A good preparation plan is what I believe.”
“Assemble the best players. I think all players should be available, and I think all players should want to be on the national team. It discourages me – in any country that I’ve been – when I see players excuse themselves from the national team duty unless there is a serious injury.”
“I think that’s the basic skeletal plan, just good preparation and the right players,” added Baldwin.
The SBP, last Tuesday during its board meeting, agreed to form a committee possibly composed of SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Pato Gregorio and PBA vice chairman Robert Non.
Source : Mb.com.ph