Tab Baldwin does homework, scouts Blue Eaglets game in first act as Ateneo coach
Newly appointed Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin watches a game by the Blue Eagles from the stands at The Arena in San Juan. Dante Peralta

TAB Baldwin observed Saturday’s matches of the UAAP Season 78 juniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan in what's considered his first public appearance as Ateneo head coach.

Wearing a blue ‘Team Ateneo’ shirt, Baldwin was in the stands together with assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga to watch the Ateneo Blue Eaglets play National University Bullpups in the first game day of the second round of the Season 78 juniors division.

But Baldwin was quick to clarify there was nothing official about his presence, saying he was merely observing the games in the high school division particularly those of the Ateneo juniors team.

The concurrent Gilas mentor also noted that hasn't conducted any practice with Ateneo's senior team yet since being named head coach of the Blue Eagles last month.

“I haven’t done anything yet. I’m just here to observe,” said Baldwin in a brief interview with Spin.ph.

Baldwin was met with handshakes by several Ateneo fans and former players outside the venue in his first appearance in a UAAP event after Ateneo announced his appointment last month.

Baldwin’s stint as Ateneo head coach, however, is still uncertain after coming under opposition from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) which protects the interests of local coaches in the country.

Baldwin saw Ateneo lose to NU, 69-81, on Saturday with the Blue Eaglets falling behind by as many as 25 points. Yet he ended up impressed with effort the kids displayed on the court.

“There are a lot of mistakes. The game was a bit too frenetic for me. There has to be a premium for efficiency. The kids play really hard but there were just too many mistakes.”

“I felt NU was far more efficient and that’s probably why they won the game,” added Baldwin, who refused to name the players who he felt stood out.

“I wouldn’t discuss that to the media,” he said.

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