FORMER New Zealand national coach Tab Baldwin is on board for Gilas Pilipinas' training camp in Miami. Not let's see if top shooting coach Chip Engelland will follow suit.
National coach Chot Reyes said the team has once again enlisted the help of Baldwin, adding his extensive international coaching experience as national coach of Lebanon in 2010, followed by Jordan in 2011 and New Zealand will aid Gilas' buildup for the Gilas World Cup and Asian Games.
“Yeah, Tab Baldwin will join us as early as Miami,” Reyes said.
But more than the World Cup, the inputs of Baldwin, who Reyes called a 'Middle East expert,' would be of better use at the Asiad where the Philippines will have to deal with teams like Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan in a bid to put an end to 52 years of futility in the quadrennial games.
“Di naman ako nahihiya humingi ng tulong. Tab Baldwin has been to three world championships and one Olympics, so for me, Tab is the Middle East expert kaya alam na alam niya ang laro ng Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon,” said Reyes, who turns 50 on August 1.
Baldwin was in Manila last year to help Reyes and Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
Gilas team manager Aboy Castro, on the other hand, said the team has also extended an invitation to former national player and current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Engelland to lend his expertise during the Miami training camp.
“But he hasn’t confirmed yet. Hopefully, he could join us,” Castro said.
Engelland was one of three naturalized players that played for the Northern Consolidated Corp. (NCC) team that won the 1985 William Jones Cup under Ron Jacobs.
He has since become the top shooting coach in the NBA, credited with improving the stroke of players such as Grant Hill, Tony Parker, Steve Kerr, Richard Jefferson, and reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, among others.