MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) revealed that he recommended Tab Baldwin, the two-time UAAP champion coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, to head the Batang Gilas program.
"This is my personal view: I think that Tab should be the Batang Gilas coach because he’s very good with the young kids and so forth and so on, but that would have to be an SBP decision," Pangilinan told Rappler after Ateneo won back-to-back UAAP titles.
Pangilinan also confirmed the vacancy of the head coaching post following the departure of Josh Reyes, who mentored the Batang Gilas squad that nailed a 2019 FIBA U-19 World Cup berth.
But the tycoon emphasized that Baldwin should be able to juggle both coaching commitments in order to take over the national youth team.
"I think he deserves it (Batang Gilas head coach post) and it would be good for the country if he’s with us. But we have to make sure that he can take on the traditional job and at the same time Ateneo," added Pangilinan.
Baldwin's first involvement in Philippine basketball was when he served as the senior team's consultant in 2013. He was then appointed as Gilas head coach in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship where the Nationals placed second in the tournamen. He also called the shots in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
After a failed Olympic qualifiers bid in 2016, the American-Kiwi took on his old role as national team consultant.
Baldwin then turned his focus on Ateneo and steered the young Blue Eagles squad to an unexpected UAAP Finals apperance in 2016 before the back-to-back title romp. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.