For several years, Dubai has served as a surrogate home country of the Mighty Sports basketball team, which has represented the Philippines in major international invitational tournaments, including the Dubai International Basketball Championship.
So when Mighty Sports decided to conduct a basketball clinic there, the entire delegation was given a warm welcome.
The basketball clinic was led by veteran international coach Tab Baldwin, who coached New Zealand to the Olympics and the World Championships.
Baldwin, who calls the shots at the Ateneo Blue Eagles, also previously handled Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team.
Joining Baldwin at the basketball clinic was Charles Tiu, head coach of College of St. Benilde in the NCAA who also served as an assistant coach to Rajko Toroman, who handled the first Gilas Pilipinas squad.
A total of 80 coaches and fans from the Emirates attended the clinic presented by Czark Mak Corp., Mount Fuji Japanese Restaurant and Polaris Industrial Estates, as they tried to pick the brains of Baldwin and Tiu, two coaches rich with international basketball experience.
“Dubai has always been close to the hearts of the Mighty Sports Family and the Czark Mak corporation Family. We’re extremely happy to do this for the basketball fanatics of Dubai. Coach Tab and Coach Charles, with their international experience, want to give back to the game as much as we do. So we decided to have this clinic to help the game and teach the philosophies that will help the aspiring coaches in the community,” said Keith Wongchuking, director of Czark Mak Group of Companies.
“Mighty Sports is committed to uplift the quality of Philippine basketball. We continue to provide not only entertainment to all basketball fans, but also to equip our Filipino coaches and players with the right skill set and technical knowledge for our fans in the Philippines and overseas as well.”
Baldwin was more than happy to take part in the basketball clinic.
"I always try to make the game better for one reason, I love the game,” Baldwin said as he shared inputs to UAE-based Filipino coaches who want to take their expertise to the next level.
He also shared some advice to them.
“Live in the detail, be careful on how you source information as a coach. Fundamentals are what build up the whole of everything and make it perfect and beautiful,” Baldwin said.
According to Baldwin, his favorite day of the year is the PBA rookie draft, where he sees the players he developed finally land a spot in the big league. This means his mission as a coach is accomplished.
At the clinic, he encouraged the coaches to teach players the fundamentals of shooting, passing and rebounding.
“Analytics and statistics are important, but knowing how to use the pieces of information you get is more important,” Baldwin said.
Tiu said he felt privileged sharing the court with Baldwin.
“We had a great time here in Dubai with coach Tab Baldwin, sharing his knowledge and philosophies in coaching and life to our fellow kababayans here in Dubai,” said Tiu.
“We were actually surprised with the turnout as a lot of coaches came, some of which were familiar faces we would see watching our Mighty Sports games the past years.
“We appreciated them all coming here, some of which even drove all the way from Abu Dhabi and we even had some foreign coaches attending. It was a small way for us to give back to the Filipino community here that has supported us throughout the years.”