FIBA: Tab Baldwin to coach Gilas Pilipinas for Clark qualifiers, OQT


Posted at Jun 13 2021 12:08 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2021 01:14 PM

FIBA: Tab Baldwin to coach Gilas Pilipinas for Clark qualifiers, OQT 1
Tab Baldwin will be the coach of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Photo courtesy of the SBP

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Tab Baldwin will call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers as well as the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced on Sunday.

"I have accepted the opportunity and the challenge to be Gilas' Head Coach at this time," Baldwin said in a statement.

Baldwin, also the head coach of reigning UAAP champions Ateneo de Manila University, is the third coach to take the reins for the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.

Mark Dickel first took on the role during the first window of the qualifiers when the Gilas Men defeated Indonesia on their own home-court last February 2020. In November of last year, Jong Uichico was appointed coach and he steered the team to back-to-back wins against Thailand in Bahrain. 

"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 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," he added.

Baldwin coached the Philippine national team in 2015, helping them win silver in the William Jones Cup and the FIBA Asia Championships in China. He also coached Gilas Pilipinas in the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Manila.

He also serves as the program director for the Gilas Pilipinas men's team, and is overseeing the overall flow and content of the basketball techniques, plays, and skill sets imparted unto the players. 

The team is currently preparing for its upcoming tournaments at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna. However, the team has had to break camp multiple times due to quarantine restrictions and changes in the FIBA schedule.

Moreover, the squad has yet to play a single practice game. But Baldwin finds solace in the quantity and quality of their practices heading into the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga this week.

"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 lack of experience, but these could be double-edged swords too. I know that when push comes to shove, these men will not only move forward, but more importantly, they will rise up because of the energy, athleticism, and determination granted to them by their youth," said Baldwin.

"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," he added.

"This is what I believe can make us worthy of a spot in the 2023 world stage." 

The Gilas Pilipinas men's team will play three games in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers -- against South Korea on June 16 and 20, and against Indonesia on June 18. The top two teams in Group A, which also includes Thailand, will qualify to the FIBA Asia Cup in August. Indonesia is already qualified as the host country.

The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament takes place in Belgrade, Serbia on June 29 to July 4.


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