ATENEO'S position on the appointment of Tab Baldwin as Blue Eagles coach is still fluid as the school mulls talks with the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BCAP), which has expressed his opposition to a foreign coach taking on a position in the country's premier college league.
Just a few days after Ateneo president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin announced the appointment of Baldwin, the Katipunan-based school had to contend with the legal aspect of the decision vis a vis a landmark court ruling that bars foreign coaches from positions that a local can competently perform.
Ateneo consultant Ricky Palou told Spin.ph team management will seek a dialogue with the officials of BCAP headed by Alfrancis Chua, which in 2002 won a case in the Court of Appeals against Talk 'N Text's decision to hire American Bill Bayno as head coach.
“Kakausapin namin, I think they (Ateneo management) are trying to talk to BCAP to see if there is any kind of compromise or solution they can come up with,” said Palou.
Palou stressed that although Fr. Villarin has already released a memo on the appointment of Baldwin, the appointment will still depend on the meeting with BCAP which they hope to hold after the coming holiday season.
While Ateneo team manager Epok Quimpo has stressed that the school will 'abide by the law' in the case of Baldwin's appointment, he has declined to go into details on how they plan to go about it within the bounds of what the BCAP considers as legal.
Another team insider bared the school is in no hurry to thresh out the issue with the next UAAP season still a months away.
“Wala pa namang urgency eh. September pa ang games. Ang problema lang kasi rito, nag-iingay ang BCAP,” he said.
The team insider, however, said the school is open to someone else taking up the position with Baldwin sliding down to a consultant role, raising the possibility of longtime deputy Sandy Arespacochaga getting the appointment.
“It’s only a play of position eh. It can still change. Everything is not written in stone. Like UP, in some games si Rensy (Bajar) ang coach, on some occasions, si Joe Ward ang may hawak ng board, same thing sa Ateneo, minsan si Bo (Perasol), minsan si Ronnie (Magsanoc),” he said.
The same source bared that Magsanoc, who many expected to inherit the head coaching job from Perasol, is already out of the equation as the PBA legend’s contract with Ateneo has already expired.
“Wala na si Ronnie sa team, full commitment na siya sa Meralco,” he said.
Asked if there is another option as the next de facto coach aside from Arespacochaga, the Ateneo insider nodded.
“Marami naman dyan eh. The whole coaching staff is a candidate. But we will make sure, it will come from within Ateneo (team),” he said.