Selection of new Gilas players will be an 'ongoing process' in Commissioner's Cup, says coach Tab Baldwin
New Gilas coach Tab Baldwin will buckle down to work as soon as he arrives from a short vacation in New Zealand. Jerome Ascano

NEW Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin is set to begin a series of meetings he plans to have with officials of both the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to finally get the selection process for the national team rolling.

Baldwin is arriving in the country late Saturday night after taking a two-and-a-half week vacation in New Zealand.

The 56-year-old American-New Zealander coach declined to go into specifics, except to mention the selection process for the new batch of Gilas team will be an ongoing thing during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“There is no timetable for the team selection,” Baldwin told on Friday.

“It will be an ongoing process during the second conference at least, and the SBP and PBA will be a part of the process each step of the way,” said the man who succeeded Chot Reyes as Gilas coach.

Baldwin also reiterated the roles of the coaching staff have yet to be decided, with Jimmy Alapag as the only sure deputy coach so far.

The 5-foot-7 Alapag recently retired from playing, but has been given two major roles in his post-pro career - as team manager of Talk `N Text and as one of Baldwin’s assistant coaches.

The soft-spoken veteran internationalist has been given the full authority to run the national team program by the SBP, which includes the Gilas cadet squad that will play in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this June.

Baldwin is no stranger to Fiba-related tournaments, having previously served as national coach for countries like Malaysia, Lebanon, Jordan, and his native country New Zealand. which he steered to a semifinal stint in the 2002 Fiba World Championships in Indianapolis, USA.

The veteran international coach has been part of the Gilas national program since the buildup for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship two years ago, where the Philippines placed runner-up behind eventual champion Iran in Manila. 

The second-place finish earned for the Philippines a ticket to last year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain, marking the first time the country returned to the world stage since 1978.

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