THE ball is now in MVP's court as far as the search for the next Gilas Pilipinas coach is concerned.
A Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) seach committee has wrapped up its work after a third meeting on Tuesday and has forwarded its recommendations to its president Manny V. Pangilinan, who along with the SBP board will make the final decision on who will replace Chot Reyes as Gilas coach.
The search panel, composed of PBA commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Pato Gregorio, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, former PBA chairman Robert Non (representing the D-League) and SBP vice-chairman Ricky Vargas, met for the last time on Tuesday before giving its final recommendation to Pangilinan.
The SBP made no announcements after the meeting, but officials have previously said that the panel's choices were down to former Gilas consultant Tab Baldwin and current Talk 'N Text coach Jong Uichico, who was also an assistant to Reyes in the previous Gilas team.
Already out of the reckoning were the four other candidates earlier named by the search committee, namely Purefoods coach Tim Cone, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, Meralco coach Norman Black, and former Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio.
From the criteria laid down by the panel, it is also clear that the SBP committee is leaning toward Baldwin, the former New Zealand coach who also had previous stints as head coach of Lebanon and Jordan's national teams.
He currently serves as a coaching consultant at Talk 'N Text.
Unless talks hit a major bump, the SBP is expected to name Baldwin as the new Gilas coach in the next few days, with Uichico once again becoming part of the new staff.