Despite his involvement in the planning of Gilas Pilipinas’ long-term directions, Ateneo head coach and incoming men’s national team program director Tab Baldwin asserted that he will not take over the team’s head coaching duties.
“There’s no plan for me to be there. There’s no plan for me to be the coach.”
And while a pool of candidates already exists for the position, the American-Kiwi tactician disclosed that searching for the team’s next head coach is not the top priority for Gilas’ brass.
The main goal as of the moment is to find players who will contribute in any way for the program. This eventually led to the birth of the special Gilas draft that included the quintet of Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Matt Nieto, Allyn Buladani, and Mike Nieto.
“We’re not close. It is not a priority right now.
“It will become a priority certainly early in the new year, and we are already discussing candidates, but the most important thing now is that we begin to assemble players who are actually going to play and we begin to think about how we are going to train these players,” shared the former Gilas mentor.
As part of the early preparations for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the ‘Gilas five’ will be loaned to the National team, where they will sign contracts with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas.
With this, the SBP will have the players’ rights unless released. However, this does not mean that the quintet will be barred from playing for their mother clubs. As Baldwin revealed, if the federation feels it is necessary, they will allow the players to suit up in the PBA.
“They will be playing exclusively for SBP, but we need to continue to evolve this program. For instance, if we felt it was in the best interest of Gilas that one of these players or two or three or all five players in a PBA conference, we would discuss that with the PBA and we would see where we think it makes sense to all the parties involved,” he said.
“But otherwise, you know, the SBP and Gilas own their rights right now. We’re responsible for training them and so that’s how we’re going to start it up.”
Baldwin also shared that the SBP and PBA are currently discussing the replication of the special draft for next year. This falls in line with SBP’s plans of adding more players to the national team in the long run.
“It is a continuing process. You’ll see the same thing happening in next year’s draft. But in the interim, we’re going to need players. Where we get those players are still on the drawing board right now. So it’s an initiative by SBP, by the MVP group, by the Gilas management group that we’re all part of. And obviously, the PBA is a part of it as well.”
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