|Tab Baldwin is back as Gilas coach. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
MANILA--Ahead of a busy midyear for Gilas Pilipinas, Tab Baldwin makes an official return to the head coaching post.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced on Sunday that Baldwin, currently the Gilas program director for the men's team, will coach the national team for the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers this week in Angeles and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade in two weeks time.
Baldwin, concurrently Ateneo's head coach, last coached Gilas in 2016 during the OQT held in Pasay.
“I have accepted the opportunity and the challenge to be Gilas’ head coach at this time. I am honored to continue working with this outstanding coaching staff as we strive to take these next steps forward in the direction we envision for 2023. I’m hoping that my international coaching experience and familiarity with our playing systems will be an additional asset to the team in the upcoming challenges the team is facing,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin replaces Jong Uichico as Gilas coach, although the latter remains a part of the coaching staff.
First in Baldwin's list this June is the ACQ bubble, where Gilas only needs to win one game in its schedule, two games against South Korea and a match against Indonesia in between, to formally enter the FIBA Asia Cup.
Gilas will then face Serbia, featuring recently named NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, and Dominican Republic in the first phase of the OQT.
Gilas must finish on top of the three-team group to enter the final, where a spot in the Tokyo Olympics is on the line.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno