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    Tab Baldwin to coach Gilas in Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers

    Jun 13, 2021

    FIVE years later, Tab Baldwin is back on board as Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball coach.

    The 63-year-old Baldwin will call the shots for the national team in the final qualifier for the Fiba Asia Cup this week, according to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

    The stint will continue all the way to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade later in the month.

    This marks the return of the veteran international coach as chief tactician after previously handling the job during the 2015 Fiba Asia Cup in Changsha, China – which netted a runner-up finish for the country – the Jones Cup (also a silver medal finish), and the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

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    Following his coaching stint, Baldwin accepted the job as project director of the men’s team being groomed to play in the 2023 Fiba World Cup which the Philippines is co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia.

    “I have accepted the opportunity and the challenge to be Gilas’ head coach at this time. I am honored to continue working with this outstanding coaching staff as we strive to take these next steps forward in the direction we envision for 2023,” Baldwin stressed.

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      “I’m hoping that my international coaching experience and familiarity with our playing systems will be an additional asset to the team in the upcoming challenges the team is facing.”

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      Baldwin will serve as the third head coach of the national team during the qualifiers of the Fiba Asia Cup.

      Mark Dickel called the shots during the first window in Jakarta in pre-pandemic where the Filipinos beat the home team, before Jong Uichico was appointed to handle Gilas in Manama last year.

      Gilas has been training at the Inspire Sports Academy bubble in Calamba, Laguna. Unfortunately, due to the many changes in quarantine restrictions and cancelled games, the team had to break camp multiple times.

      While Baldwin rues Gilas not being able to play a single practice game as a team, he is confident with the quality of their practices.

      "The players are responding well to the system and to each other. Bumps along the road are inevitable due to their youth and relative lack of experience, but these could be double-edged swords, too. I know that when push comes to shove, these men will not only move forward, but more importantly, they will rise up because of the energy, athleticism, and determination granted to them by their youth," said the Gilas mentor.

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      "This is a developmental team that is not eyeing perfection, but progress. When you plan for things in the long run, you prioritize progress more than perfection because it allows for more opportunities to grow and learn. This is what I believe can make us worthy of a spot in the 2023 world stage."

      Gilas is set to take on South Korea on June 16, Indonesia on the 18th, and South Korea on June 20.

      The top two teams in Group A will join host team Indonesia in the Fiba Asia Cup scheduled for August.

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