MANILA, Philippines – Former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin gets a chance to give back to the sport of basketball through the World Hoops Clinic, where he will bring in a bevy of high quality mentors to impart their knowledge to Filipino coaches.
The World Hoops Clinic is set on June 16-18 at the Marikina Sports Complex, and will feature local and international coaches who have vast experiences at the highest level of the sport, and who are all eager to share their knowledge to Filipino mentors.
"This concept… evolved for three reasons," said Baldwin in a press conference Wednesday at the Discovery Suites Hotel. "One, very obvious, we do want to benefit the coaches in the Philippines."
"The scores of individuals who are laboring in barangays, in the small gyms and concrete court all over the country, they're innumerable, they need our support, and they need our opportunity to develop them. They need our mentorship," he stressed.
The second reason for the clinic is that Baldwin believes there is a vital need for Filipino coaches to expand their horizons when it comes to basketball philosophies and knowledge. For the current Ateneo de Manila University head coach, Philippine basketball is clearly inspired by the American game, but has mostly ignored the European style of playing.
"We wanted to expose our coaches to a thinking that exists in the basketball world right now, which in the Philippines I believe is largely ignored, and that is the international game and in particular the European game," he explained.
"It is a different ideology, it is a different thought process," he added. "Certainly, we have to break out of our myopic view of basketball as an American sport."
To this end, Baldwin invited a coalition of coaches that have experience at the highest level of the sport. Foremost among them is Nenad Vucinic, the coach of the Lebanon national team whom Baldwin described as "the best basketball coach that I know."
Vucinic will focus on the pick-and-roll as well as zone and man-to-man defenses.
Also included in the roster of coaches is Pero Cameron, one of Baldwin's former players in New Zealand who is now a head coach himself. Baldwin hailed him as a "virtual genius" during his playing years, and will focus on how Filipino coaches can teach "small big men."
Former Gilas Pilipinas consultant Natxo Lezcano, meanwhile, will return to give his perspective on "The Free Offense," as well as how to defend the ball screen.
Baldwin's World Hoops Clinic looks to expand knowledge of PH coaches
Two of the local coaches who will also serve as teachers in the clinic are Alex Compton, who will discuss his now trademark pressure defense; and Jimmy Alapag, who will discuss a module on leadership.
"The one thing that characterizes all of these men is that all of them have always given back to the game," said Baldwin. "That's why we're here."
"All of us realize and understand how blessed we are, for what the game of basketball has given us," he added. "This clinic is an opportunity for us to give back to the game."
"The vehicle this time is the World Hoops Clinic, the beneficiary is the coaches who will attend, but from a motivational standpoint, we love this game, and we want to give back for what it has given to us."
Baldwin also stressed that the clinic is not intended to be a "one-off" event, as they are committed to it in a long-term basis.
"(This clinic) is going to try to achieve broadening our coaches' knowledge about thinking differently, or at least being exposed to a different type of thinking," he said.
"This is an effort… to broaden our thinking here in the Philippines, to give our coaches more tools to teach the game maybe in a different way, and maybe, just expose them to more ideas and more theories. If we do that, I think we've been successful," he added.
The clinic is open to all coaches and players who are interested. The fee for the three-day event is set at P6,000.
To register, contact John Flores at +639175517275 or +639989977275, or [email protected] or Jay Salvador at +639281716108.
More information is available through the event's Facebook page.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)