TAB Baldwin said his goal as Gilas Pilipinas project director is to find the best coach possible for the national team, but admitted he is not closing the door on being tapped for that role in the future, particularly in the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Championship.
Baldwin said the search continues for a permanent Gilas coach even as the national squad continues in its build-up for the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers. At the moment, Jong Uichico sits at the helm on an interim basis.
But the American-New Zealand coach in Baldwin said he is ready if the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will eventually appoint him for that role.
“What I want to do as the program director is I want to continue to beat the bushes and put the best coach available with the support of the SBP and the decision-making management. We want to put the best coach available in that slot,” said Baldwin during the latest episode of Zoom In on SPIN.ph.
Baldwin said he recognizes that he is also a candidate for the coaching job, although he is leaving the decision up to the SBP.
“In all honesty, I know that I’m a candidate. But that will come with discussions with management with the other coaches. If and when that time arises, of course, it would have to be a consensus decision among the parties,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin previously coached Gilas Pilipinas from 2014 to 2016, leading the national squad to a silver medal finish in the Fiba Asia Championship held in Changsha, China.
The former New Zealand Tall Blacks head mentor returned to the national team duties but on a wider scope, being appointed as project director that will require him to oversee the build-up towards the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup which the country will host.
Under Baldwin’s watch, Gilas Pilipinas has come up with a pool of amateur and collegiate standouts in the pool that would be trained and ready for call-ups in international competitions.
The 62-year-old Baldwin said he will take the challenge if the SBP decides to return the reins to him as Gilas coach.
“It would be an honor for me. it would be a challenge. It wouldn’t be something that I would be afraid of or walk away from,” Baldwin said.
“Nonetheless, the job as program director is to put the best person that we have in that position given all the candidates and the scenarios that we have,” he emphasized.
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