Tab Baldwin to call shots for Gilas in Asian Cup qualifiers

Published June 13, 2021, 3:20 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Tab Baldwin (SBP Images)

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has tapped Gilas Pilipinas men’s national team Project Director Tab Baldwin to call the shots for the Nationals in the window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers set June 16 to 20 in a bubble in Clark, Pampanga.

The announcement of the SBP, led by its president Al Panlilio, came a few days before the start of the tournament.

This is the first time that Baldwin will again handle the national team since he mentored the squad when the country hosted the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) back in 2016.

“I have accepted the opportunity and the challenge to be Gilas’ Head Coach at this time. I am honored to continue working with this outstanding coaching staff as we strive to take these next steps forward in the direction we envision for 2023,” said the 63-year-old Baldwin.

“I’m hoping that my international coaching experience and familiarity with our playing systems will be an additional asset to the team in the upcoming challenges the team is facing.”

Baldwin also coached the national team in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan and FIBA Asia Championships in Changsha, China back in 2015 – leading the country to a silver medal finish in both events.

Baldwin will be the third head coach to take the reins for the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Marc Dickel first took on the role during the Window 1 of the qualifiers when the Gilas Men defeated Indonesia in Jakarta. Coach Jong Uichico steered the team to two wins against Thailand during Window 2 in Bahrain.

As the program director, Baldwin is overall in charge from selecting the members of the national team training pool, to the system and development of the players in preparation for the 2023 FOIBA World Cup.

“The players are responding very well to the system and to each other,” Baldwin said. “Bumps along the road are inevitable due to their youth and relative lack of experience, but these could be double-edged swords too.”

“This is a developmental team that is not eyeing perfection, but progress. When you plan for things in the long run, you prioritize progress more than perfection because it allows for more opportunities to grow and learn. This is what I believe can make us worthy of a spot in the 2023 world stage.”

Gllas is scheduled to take on South Korea on June 16, Indonesia on June 18, and South Korea again on June 20. The top two teams in Group A, which also include Thailand, will join host team Indonesia for the FIBA Asia Cup scheduled in Jakarta this August.