Tab Baldwin says title 'irrelevant' as he begins task of reviving Ateneo program
Ateneo management has decided to temporarily appoint Tab Baldwin as team consultant while school officials try to resolve the issue about his appointment with the BCAP. Jerome Ascano

WHETHER he ends up as head coach, consultant, or adviser, Tab Baldwin doesn’t care. All he thinks about is how to help revive Ateneo’s rich basketball program in the UAAP by next season.

After coming under fire from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) following its move to name Baldwin as head coach, Ateneo management has decided to temporarily appoint him as team consultant while school officials try to have a dialogue and find a way to resolve the matter with the union of local coaches headed by Ginebra board of governor Alfrancis Chua.

While the 57-year-old Baldwin said he’s not the right person to answer questions about his exact job description with the Ateneo team, he stressed all he knows is the reason why he was made part of the Blue Eagles side that was left without a coach after the three-year contract of Bo Perasol expired at the end of Season 78.

“What name I’m going to have in terms of the title is pretty irrelevant,” said Baldwin, who joined the Gilas Pilipinas team in its Christmas party on Monday night. “I know what my job will be and I know I’m there to help these young men in their basketball careers and achieve their aspirations.”

For the moment, assistant coaches Sandy Arespacochaga and Yuri Escueta will be tasked to call the shots for the Blue Eagles with the issue with BCAP still unresolved.

“Being the good employee, I’ll just do what I am told to do.”

But the national coach admitted going back to teaching college players is a different experience altogether for him once again, having left college basketball in 1988.

“I’m just excited about the challenge. It’s a new venture to me. I think it’s gonna give me and the coaching staff a chance to do some new things and do different things, which I hope we could spread throughout the basketball community here because I think the college scene, with the way it is set up, will allow us to do that,” he said.

Owing to the scheduled examinations prior to the holiday season, Baldwin missed catching up with some of the team players, although he has basically gotten to know some of the team members.

“I’ve met with the team although not all of them. I’ve met with the coaches and management,” he related. “We’re underway, we’re working, we’re planning, we’re preparing. I’m really thrilled about this.”


Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos