The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters were just swept by the San Miguel Beermen, but the series at least gave Tab Baldwin a preview of what type of players he might consider tapping for the Gilas Pilipinas national team. He believes making an assessment at this point would be too early, although he saw two players who impressed him during the series- June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos.
Baldwin saw Fajardo work during the past two years he has been with the national team program. As a coaching consultant to coach Chot Reyes before, Baldwin has worked on some of the skills of the players who saw action for Gilas Pilipinas in major international tournaments.
Fajardo recalled how strict Baldwin was at work.
“Strict siya. Napagalitan na nga ako minsan eh,” Fajardo said. “Pero OK lang naman sa akin mapagalitan, kasi kino-correct nya mga mali ko.”
Baldwin saw a lot of potential in the 6-foot-10 big man, who won the Most Valuable Player award last season. But while Fajardo is dominating the PBA, the key to his fast improvement is to continue playing in the international level.
“He’s a real tough assignment for any team, but internationally, he’s just another big man,” said Baldwin. “He needs more exposure to fast-track his improvement.”
Baldwin was also impressed by Santos, who was consistently doing damage against Talk ‘N Text in the four games that they’ve met.
“He had an impressive series,” added Baldwin. “The coaches and the players deserve all the praise.”