'Premature' to discuss Gilas Pilipinas role, says Baldwin

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2019 04:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin said it was too "premature" for him to discuss his role in the Philippine national team program, after it was reported that he was being eyed as program director of Gilas Pilipinas.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan was quoted in multiple reports saying that Baldwin "most probably" will be named as the program director, but will not be the head coach of the national team.

Speaking to reporters after Ateneo's 71-50 triumph over National University in the UAAP Season 82 tournament on Sunday, Baldwin stressed that "nothing has been formalized."

"I think you can tell from the tone of Boss MVP's answers that it's premature to talk about it. Nothing's been formalized. I can say we've had discussions," he said.

"Suffice it to say, that everybody cares a lot, within MVP's organization about what happens with Gilas. He continues to believe in the program, he continues to believe in the future, and he continues to invest in it," he added.

"There's some talk now about wanting to get processes right. But it's too premature to talk about anything else."

What Baldwin is certain of is that the priority as of the moment is the Southeast Asian Games, which the country will be hosting in November and December. While a pool has been identified, no coach has been tapped yet for the team.

"I think they should put together a team that can win it. I think we have always had the players in this country that can win the SEA Games, it gets tougher all the time," said Baldwin.

"I think the team that they assemble, whoever is coaching that, I think that they should make sure first and foremost, that they give the fans, they represent the country well, they give the fans what they want, and that's a winning team."

Baldwin previously called the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in 2015 and 2016, leading the team to a silver medal finish in the 2015 FIBA Asia championship and steering them in the 2016 Olympic qualifying tournament.

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