GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa made it clear they are in good terms, with Narvasa expressing his full support to Baldwin’s endeavor in the coming Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila this July.
During the send-off event for Gilas on Wednesday, Baldwin even acknowledged Narvasa as he expressed his gratitude to the pro league for its support to the national team program.
Baldwin also belied reports of any friction between them, supposedly caused by the Gilas coach's controversial comment about officiating during one of the games in the recent Commissioner’s Cup finals won by Rain or Shine. The PBA said Baldwin has since apologized for the comment.
“Boss Chito, we finally had a chance to shake hands today and say hello," said Baldwin. "Obviously, the reports say we hate each other. Only that there is nothing further to the truth. We didn’t have a chance to even dislike each other.”
"Thank you for your kind words," Baldwin continued. "I recognize your support, the support of the governors, the PBA teams and everything you have done for us. Again, thank you. We very much appreciate the support. And beyond that, I appreciate that you offered your support.”
When asked about his conversation with Baldwin, Narvasa said he understands the Gilas mentor's tough task ahead in the Olympic qualifier set from July 5 to 10. And being a former coach himself, the PBA commissioner reiterated the league's full support to the Philippine team and set aside whatever issues they might have had.
“Pareho kaming coach eh, so we understand each other. I’m a commissioner by accident so siguro, if I had a choice, I also like to be a coach na lang,” said Narvasa.
“We understand each other. I understand where he is coming from. I understand his concerns and pressure that he is undergoing right now. So I told him, we will support you. Sabi nga namin, the Filipino should already be grateful for the sacrifices that they are making," he added.