Tab Baldwin says thoughts on PBA, PH coaches 'taken out of context'

Coach Tab Baldwin already explained what he said in a podcast to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was apologetic to PBA commissioner Willie Marcial during an online talk on Monday regarding what he said in a recent podcast.

"I feel bad that has happened and that is not my intention," said Baldwin, who also acts as an assistant coach for TNT, in a news release in the PBA website.

The American-Kiwi mentor, also the program director for Gilas Pilipinas Men in the SBP, became the talk of the town over the weekend for what some local coaches thought the wrong reason due to his answer to a question in the Coaches Unfiltered Podcast, which was first aired on Thursday.

Asked about the things he was surprised at about Filipino coaches upon arriving in the Philippines, he first talked about the Filipino coaches' "tactical immaturity."

"They are significantly unaware of the tactical and the systematic advancements of coaching systems coming from Europe in particular which are built on the backs of player development," Baldwin explained in the podcast.

Although Baldwin clarified, "I don't think that it is absolutely our coaches' fault, which means it's correctable," his statement about the current Filipino style of coaching already irked an increasing number of gaffers.

"To publicly criticize local players, officials, coaches and leagues (PBA, FIBA) you are not an active part of is totally uncalled for. Some things are better left unsaid," Letran coach and NorthPort team manager Bonnie Tan, among the most recent people who aired their reactions to Baldwin's comments, said in a statement on Sunday.

Baldwin then tackled his concerns regarding both the PBA Commissioner's and Governors' Cups.

In what he deemed as "one major flaw in the basketball landscape of the Philippines," he thinks that the current format of both tournaments, in which the 12 member clubs can recruit one foreign reinforcement each, "is a big mistake."

"We should never have a single import playing on a team," Baldwin added.

The Commissioner's Cup allows teams to sign one foreign player at most six-foot-nine in height, while the Governors' Cup gives them a chance to recruit an import at most six-foot-five.

The last time the PBA had two imports per team was when the league allowed the clubs to bring in an Asian import at six-feet-one or shorter.

Baldwin also discussed the differences of the "rules latitude" between the imports and the locals.

"Our local players are competitively disadvantaged than their ability to compete against the import players, and this is not the case in other countries," he further quipped.

Baldwin's sentiment did not sit well with Marcial, who called it "detrimental," hinting that a fine and even a suspension awaits the former Gilas Men coach.

San Miguel Corporation's sports director Alfrancis Chua then said that it would be unfair for the locals if the league brings back the two-import format.

This led to Baldwin calling an online meeting with Marcial, Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro, and PBA's legal counsel Melvin Mendoza.

While he aired his side of the story and eventually apologized, Baldwin claimed that all that he said "were taken out of context."

Marcial will release his verdict regarding Baldwin's latest takes on Tuesday.

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