Siot Tanquingcen explains presence in Gilas practice: 'It's good to learn new things'
De La Salle assistant coach Siot Tanquingcen shares a light moment with Gilas mainstay Marc Pingris and former PBA player Peter Aguilar during a recent practice of the national team. Gerry Ramos

SIOT Tanquingcen has been a fixture in the last few practices of Gilas Pilipinas before the national team went on a break for the holiday season.

But before anybody starts making conclusions, the champion coach said he’s just there to observe and learn from national coach Tab Baldwin.

Everything is business, according to Tanquingcen.

“Basically just to learn things pa from watching Coach Tab conduct his practice, pick up some things,” said the former point guard out of University of Santo Tomas, who is current deputy coach with De La Salle.

“It’s always good to learn new things.”

The 43-year-old mentor, who won two PBA championships with Barangay Ginebra and one with San Miguel, has been vocal about how he admires Baldwin as a coach, especially with the way he steered Gilas Pilipinas to a silver medal finish in the last FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship behind a team that was not expected to reach the championship round.

“He did a great job in getting us to the finals. That basically speaks for itself (about his achievements),” Tanquingcen said about the 57-year-old American-New Zealander.

Tanquingcen has been retained by La Salle as an assistant despite the departure of Juno Sauler, who was replaced by former Letran coach Aldin Ayo at the end of the season.

Until he was retained, there were rumors that Tanquingcen may opt to join Jong Uichico in the Talk 'N Text coaching staff.

Tanquingcen, who last coached in the PBA for Barako Bull, was quick to deny his presence has something to do with him becoming a part of the Gilas coaching staff.

But asked if he’s interested to become part of the national team if asked to join Baldwin and his staff, the veteran coach said he’s leaving everything to fate.

“Only God knows (if there’s a chance for him to work with Gilas in the future),” he said.

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