The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is glad to announce that Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Program Director Tab Baldwin has been appointed as the team’s head coach for the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.
“I have accepted the opportunity and the challenge to be Gilas’ Head Coach at this time. I am honored to continue working with this outstanding coaching staff as we strive to take these next steps forward in the direction we envision for 2023. I’m hoping that my international coaching experience and familiarity with our playing systems will be an additional asset to the team in the upcoming challenges the team is facing,” said Baldwin, whose tenure as Head Coach in 2015 landed the Men’s Team with silver medal finishes in the William Jones Cup and the FIBA Asia Championships.
Baldwin will be the third head coach to take the reins for the Phillippines in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. Marc Dickel first took on the role during the first window of the qualifiers when the Gilas Men defeated Indonesia on their own home court. The position was then given to Jong Uichico who led the team to back-to-back wins against Thailand in Bahrain.
As Gilas Men’s Program Director, Baldwin has been overseeing the overall flow and content of the basketball techniques, plays, and skillsets imparted to the players. The program he has set is not one that can only be contextualized on a day-to-day basis, but one that prepares the team towards the country’s vision for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
The current members of the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Team, whom we have yet to see in action, have been training in a bubble set-up in Calamba, Laguna. Unfortunately, due to the many changes in quarantine restrictions and canceled games, the team had to break camp multiple times.
Although Baldwin rues not being able to play a single practice game as a team, he finds solace in the quantity and quality of their practices.
“The players are responding very well to the system and to each other. Bumps along the road are inevitable due to their youth and relative lack of experience, but these could be double-edged swords too. I know that when push comes to shove, these men will not only move forward, but more importantly, they will rise up because of the energy, athleticism, and determination granted to them by their youth,” Baldwin exclaimed.
“This is a developmental team that is not eyeing perfection, but progress. When you plan for things in the long run, you prioritize progress more than perfection because it allows for more opportunities to grow and learn. This is what I believe can make us worthy of a spot in the 2023 world stage.”
The Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Basketball Team is scheduled to take on South Korea on June 16, Indonesia on June 18, and South Korea again on June 20. The top two teams in Group A, which also includes Thailand, will join host team Indonesia for the FIBA Asia Cup scheduled in August.