By REYNALD MAGALLON
Former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin hopes Gilas Pilipinas will fully enjoy the three months of preparation before the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, although he praised the sacrifices made by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA ).
As the national team finally got the preparation time they’ve been waiting for, Baldwin, who is Ateneo’s current mentor, said the availability of players during training camps would be crucial for the coach Chot Reyes uses his system and develops a consistent system. and combat unit for the world centerpiece.
“It gives the technical staff, Coach Chot and his staff, immeasurable time to prepare. But I wonder if he’s going to have a full squad. And for how many of those three months,” Baldwin said.
“Every minute of prep that you would have a full roster goes a long way toward becoming a strong basketball team. Every minute you don’t have a full roster, you take away the quality of prep that three months gives you,” he said. -he adds.
While PBA players will be readily available for training camp after the league decided to cut its season to two conferences next year, the availability of international players, including NBA star Jordan Clarkson and the Adelaide center Kai Sotto, will play an important role in the quality of Gilas preparations.
“Obviously I’m talking about players like Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, players playing in Japan, players playing in Korea and Taiwan. How many of those three months will be there?” said the veteran mentor.
“While three months is great, what we really need to focus on is whether Chot is going to have a week with these guys or is he going to have a month, which would be amazing in itself. The jury is still out on the value of those three months, but this is an extraordinary step made by the SBP and taken by the PBA,” he added.
Nonetheless, Baldwin praised the PBA, understanding the sacrifice it must make for the national team cause.
“You can’t underestimate how difficult it was. A lot of people say the PBA should be two conferences. I don’t think they stop for someone and lose an entire conference of work in terms of media coverage. They don’t think about the ticket takers, the security guards, the media, all the people who would lose revenue if there was no third conference,” Baldwin explained.
“It’s a huge step taken by the PBA and not taken lightly. And the fans have to understand, it wasn’t easy for the PBA to do. It wasn’t just a Gilas thing. It’s a PBA decision that is extraordinary and it is a huge sacrifice.
GILAS HELP OFFER
He also pointed out that there is no bad blood between him and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and that he was, in fact, open to helping the national team in their preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. 2023.
Speaking in an interview with Radyo 5’s Power and Play with Kom Noli Eala, Baldwin said he was not an ‘antagonist’ of the federation and decided to speak out in hopes of pacifying the fans and to help the federation and the national team program which has been battered by jeers, boos and criticism.
“I think the point of my speaking is that there has to be a rally and if the fans weren’t interested in me I wouldn’t need to speak, but apparently you know there’s there have been and I want to do my part to help the World Cup,” Baldwin said.
“I am not hostile to the SBP. I kinda left them alone to do their job and they kinda left me alone to do my job, but I think because of the angst on social media in particular, I think we have to all take action to try to heal our basketball landscape,” he added.
Baldwin said he supports the national team and isn’t shutting down entirely on a potential Gilas return, but it will all depend on Reyes’ decision.
“I’ve always been (open to helping Gilas). There is no prevarication on my part for this and Boss MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) knows this and I received a text message which I am very grateful from Boss Al (Panlilio) last night. obviously I don’t want to call it the healing process, but the communication process is ongoing,” Baldwin said.
“I think it should be Chot’s decision, no one else. If I’m in Chot’s shoes, you know I wouldn’t want someone telling me who I should have as a team and who I should gather,” he added.