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Sonny Barrios on Tab Baldwin's comments: 'It's equally important how you say it'

Sonny Barrios insisted that Tab Baldwin's comments in a podcast was his own take and not by the SBP. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--SBP executive director Sonny Barrios reiterated his office's stand that Gilas Pilipinas Men program director Tab Baldwin's controversial comments in a podcast is his personal take.

On Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Barrios echoed SBP president Al Panlilio's earlier statement that the Baldwin's critique on Filipino coaches as well as the PBA does not reflect that of the local governing body for basketball.

"They were not aligned with the position of SBP and certainly not aligned with the personal position of Al Panlilio, so we can leave it at that," Barrios said.

But on a personal note, Barrios, a former commissioner of the PBA, stressed that the content of someone's opinion is not the only thing that matters but also the circumstances when the opinion was made.

"In my case, I've said among friends in my experience, 'It's not what you say that is important. It's equally important how you say it and at times it's even important when you say it and under what setting you say it," he quipped.

Baldwin's words during the Coaches Unfiltered podcast last month drew mixed reactions from various basketball sectors.

While some people, primarily the fans, were fine with what he said, some others, particularly the PBA and many Filipino coaches, did not like the comments.

For one, the coaches lashed out at Baldwin's take on what he deemed as a "tactical immaturity" among their systems compared to other countries.

The PBA, meanwhile, irked at how Baldwin finds the current one-import-per-team format in the Commissioner's and Governors' Cups and the way the games in those conferences are officiated.

The league slapped Baldwin with a PHP75,000 fine plus a three-game suspension for the said comments.

He was later relieved from his post as an assistant coach for TNT, but Team Manager Gabby Cui clarified that it was nothing to do with his comments and that the shakeup was already made before the community quarantine started so that he can focus with his Gilas Men job and his Ateneo head coaching stint.

[Related Story: Tab Baldwin out of TNT coaching staff]

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno