Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director Sonny Barrios doesn’t think that Tab Baldwin is in danger of losing his position as the federation’s 5-on-5 program director following his controversial statements weeks ago.
“Hindi naman, palagay ko. Not unless magsasalita uli siya ng wala sa lugar,” Barrios said in Tuesday’s PSA Forum powered by Smart and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel, and Braska Restaurant.
“Pero sa ngayon, wala naman.”
The American-Kiwi mentor found himself in hot water following his statements about the PBA’s officiating and its one-import format, as well as the ‘tactical immaturity’ of the local coaches in Coaches Unfiltered podcast.
Baldwin not only aired his sentiments about the PBA, but he had also touched on FIBA and its “Hagop rule” that requires players to acquire a passport by the age of 16, calling it “criminal.”
The former Olympic coach, though, already apologized to the PBA and to those offended. He explained that he never meant to demean anybody and that his comments were taken out of context.
He had also been penalized by the league with a hefty P 75,000-fine plus a three-game suspension, since he is listed as one of TNT’s assistant coach, working with head coach Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel
He will no longer serve that suspension, though, as he has been removed from the KaTropa staff, although team manager Gabby Cui had earlier noted that it was a decision made before the lockdown.
Still, that sparked speculations that Baldwin might lose his other positions. Besides his post as program director, he is also the chief mentor of Ateneo Blue Eagles, which has lorded over UAAP men’s basketball for three seasons now.
But then, Cui, who also serves as Gilas’ team manager, clarified that the former national team head coach “will be focusing on his coaching chores in Ateneo and his role in SBP”.
And in fact, Barrios said that SBP President Al Panlilio plans to meet with Baldwin soon to discuss the plans of the program moving forward. Gilas is currently gearing up towards the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“Si President Al Panlilio, in fact, wants to have a video conference with him and with the team ‘no — the SBP team — to address the moving forward of the program.”