Tab Baldwin lays down plans as he gets the ball rolling as Gilas Pilipinas coach
Gilas coach Tab Baldwin says he intends to keep the dribble-drive offense of former coach Chot Reyes, with a few of his own inputs thrown in. Jaime Campos

ON New Year’s Day, Tab Baldwin officially begins his task as new head coach of Gilas Pilipinas 3.0.

And his first order of business, keep the dribble and drive system the national team has grown accustomed to under former mentor Chot Reyes, but with a little bit of variation this time.

The 56-year-old American-New Zealander stressed that unlike in the past, Gilas won’t just live and die with the offensive pattern developed by former Pepperdine head coach Vance Walberg.

“I fully expect to continue to use that system intact, but I don’t expect that it will be the entirety of our offensive system,” said the man who steered New Zealand to the semifinals of the 2002 Fiba World Cup in Indianapolis, USA.

The dribble drive motion was largely credited for the success achieved by Gilas under Reyes’ watch that saw the national team finish a strong runner-up to Iran in the 2013 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship and earn the country a return trip to the world basketball championship after four decades of absence.

Baldwin served as Gilas consultant for the past two years and saw up close and personal how the Filipinos thrived under the system that spreads out the offensive players in the half court.

Although he’s not entirely hooked yet on the scheme, Baldwin admitted he learned a lot about it watching how Gilas run the pattern.

He even tried to adopt it with the commercial team he’s been handling in New Zealand.

“I’m still a bit new to the system, but I’m enamored with it. I learned a lot under coach Chot,” he said. “In fact, I took it back to New Zealand to the league where I coached in last year, and run it with my team there as part of a broader system.”

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Baldwin though failed to mention whether his New Zealand team has had the same success as Gilas had using the dribble drive motion.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos