Baldwin excited to work as coach, teacher for Blue Eagles

Tab Baldwin I File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Newly-appointed Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin felt his gold-medal stint with the Gilas cadet team last year may have convinced the university's officials to tap him as the successor of erstwhile coach Bo Perasol.

"I probably should have had an inkling of this (his appointment as Ateneo coach) based on my involvement with the SEABA team and the Cadets and what a strong bond we built with that team and winning gold," Baldwin told sports scribes in his first public interview since being named the Blue Eagles head coach on Monday.

"I think that probably made an impression on some of the powers that be that I could work pretty well with that age group."

The Gilas cadet side was a star-studded cast from the collegiate ranks led by Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo and Troy Rosario, who is now playing for Talk 'N Text.

Baldwin's cadet national squad warded off Indonesia's tough stand in the championship round to bag the country's 11th straight gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games men's basketball.

The American-Kiwi coach didn't hide the fact the he enjoyed coaching young players, which is why he is accepting his new coaching job at Ate neo with excitement.

"It's exciting to work with young players because it means you're not just a coach," said Baldwin, who guided Gilas Pilipinas to a runner up finish in the recent FIBA Asia men's championships in Changsa, China.  "You're also a teacher and the opportunity to impact the lives of young men and to reinforce the values of the university like Ateneo, I think that's a real privilege for me."

Baldwin hopes to bring Ateneo back to the top of the UAAP since the university's last basketball crown in 2012 under Norman Black.

Under Perasol, Ateneo reached the Final Four twice in his three-year coaching stint

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