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As "dream come true" as Gilas coach ends, Baldwin says he has Chot's back in reunion project

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By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--In a sudden turn of events on Tuesday, Chot Reyes jumped out of retirement and accepted another stint as Gilas coach.

[Related Story: Chot Reyes back as Gilas mentor]

And although erstwhile chief gaffer Tab Baldwin will stay in the national team as Reyes' consultant, he expressed his sadness that the fulfillment of his dream came to an end.

"It was disappointing, of course. My time with Gilas was a dream come true for me," Baldwin, who currently serves as consultant to Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga, told a group of sportswriters on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre, barely two hours after the UAAP team turned back UE.

[Related Story: Ateneo mauls UE to go third]

On why he described his Gilas experience as such, Baldwin reasoned, "I learned in my time here that the very things I'm passionate about match the passion of the people of the country. That's disappointing when that doesn't continue."

He, however, clarified that he is fine working again with Reyes as they collaborate anew for Gilas' road to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

"It really doesn't matter who's at the helm. It's not about me and about any individual. It's about the national team. Being a part of that means giving everything I've got, which was what I did from Day 1 and what I will do until the day I'm finished with the program," Baldwin continued.

He further said, "I've always had a belief in Chot as a coach. I observed him up close for two years as a consultant. He's a good basketball coach. Chot's got my support. It is my job to do the best I can to help him make this program as successful as it could be."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno