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Tab Baldwin wants Ateneo to focus on academics before getting back to training

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Tiebreaker Times Tab Baldwin wants Ateneo to focus on academics before getting back to training ADMU Basketball News UAAP  UAAP Season 83 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 83 Tab Baldwin Ateneo Men's Basketball

By: Justin Valencia

With team practice still not allowed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin wants the Blue Eagles to put premium on academics instead.

Speaking in Tiebreaker Vods’ Coaches Unfiltered, presented by SMART Sports, the 62-year-old tactician laid out his plans for the three-time defending UAAP champions.

“The university has already announced that first semester certainly is going to be online, and we’re even trying to get all the players into the summer sessions online, just to get them a little bit ahead,” said Baldwin in the vodcast hosted by coaches Charles Tiu, Anton Altamirano, and Paolo Layug.

“Because one thing we all have an abundance of now is time. So we want them all in the summer classes, get a head start on the fall semester.”

And when the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) gave the approval for basketball, the Gilas program director wants his squad to get into a “camp situation” without the need to put aside education.

“When we are able to reassemble, our plan is to get into a camp situation and one of the elements of that is going to be a daily study hall in which we’re devoted to the academic advancement of our players.”

Three months into the spread of the pandemic in the country, Baldwin admitted that he and his coaching staff haven’t been discussing basketball with the players.

He also said they want the cagers to “focus on their families, the social environment that we all live in now, and their physical training”.

The program itself cannot simply move forward in this pandemic because it is missing one of the most important elements in basketball.

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“Everybody is trying to be as innovative and positive as they can be without doing one of the most integral ingredients of any tame, and that is spending time together, especially training,” added Baldwin.

Asked about how he wants the UAAP to return, the veteran mentor has a “rebel stance”.

“I would like to see us get back to life as normal. I would like to see us playing in Araneta. I’d like to see fans in the stadium. Tf they want to wear masks, that’s great for them,” he said.

“But I believe that for the vast majority, if we get the virus, it’s not going to mean much to us, as has been evidenced by the data that has come out. I’m going to be a rebel with that stance. It’s not gonna be popular. Nonetheless, if I can’t be honest with my own point of view, what can I be?”

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